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NREL Helps Industry Partner Commercialize Promising Technology For Forest Products Industry

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Golden, Colo., April 3, 1997 -- The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with Minerals Technologies, Inc. of Bethlehem, Penn. to conduct research to improve the quality of paper derived from thermomechanical pulp (TMP).

The 17-month $410,000 partnership will focus on the development of additives derived from biomass to improve the properties of TMP. TMP is made by grinding wood into fibers rather than using chemicals to separate the wood fibers into pulp. It is used predominantly for newsprint and some cardboard materials and has many advantages over paper produced from chemical pulps. Important advantages are higher yield, fewer environmental impacts and less energy used to produce the pulp. Minerals Technologies, Inc. is a major manufacturer of mineral fillers for the pulp, paper and plastics industries.

This project is supported at NREL by the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Industrial Technologies as part of their Forest Products program. Forest Products is one of seven industries within the DOE's Industries of the Future programs.

The cost-shared research agreement is designed to provide Minerals Technologies, Inc. access to NREL's research expertise in forest products and chemicals technologies and state-of-the-art facilities. This joint research will lead to a paper manufacturing process that uses less energy and reduces wastes. For more information, contact Steve Kelley at (303) 384-6123.

To date, NREL has signed 58 CRADAs with industry partners. NREL has contributed $25.6 million to the CRADAs and industry partners have contributed $66.5 million, bringing total CRADA funding to $92.3 million.


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