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The discovery of the unique properties of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) and the scale-up of production processes to the demonstration plant stage are exciting developments in the search for new value-added products that can be manufactured from forest resources. The now extensive research literature on CNC has suggested many novel industrial applications, but has also identified common technological challenges that are hindering the development of these opportunities.

Upon its dissolution, the Business-Led Network of Centres of Excellence ArboraNano concluded an agreement with FPInnovations to launch a research and development program aimed at solving key technological challenges identified by experts working in the area and to disseminate the results as rapidly and widely as possible. Six challenges were identified: aqueous dispersion, non-aqueous dispersion, strength reinforcement potential, characterization, compatibilization and heat stability. Seven collaborative research projects involving researchers at seven Canadian universities and funding partners NSERC, PRIMA Quebec, Ontario Centres of Excellence and Innotech Alberta have been underway for up to a year. This symposium will describe each of the challenges and report their early results.

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