The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) welcomes the launch of the new Processing Advanced Lignocellulosics (PALS) Hub, hosted at Monash University in Melbourne. The new research facility will focus on how to transform wood and other organic waste into new, useable and renewable products, Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Mr Ross Hampton said today.
“A total of $6.8 million over five years will be invested into PALS, including $2.65 million from the Australian Research Council, $2.65 million from supportive industry and $1.5 million from Monash University. This is a very worthwhile and collaborative effort which should yield excellent and innovative outcomes. It’s a great vote of confidence in the pulp and paper products industry,” Mr Hampton said.
“The money will fund research to convert wood residues, plant-based matter and other biomass into products like hydrogels for personal medicine, nanocellulose films to replace non-renewable packaging as well as nanogels to help farmers maintain crops. It will also look for breakthroughs to create new renewable products that can rival single-use plastics.
“AFPA Member companies, Norske Skog, Visy and Circa are partnering in this Hub, and they, along with the rest of the industry partners should be congratulated for this future looking renewable investment.
“Australia’s forest industries are well placed to take advantage of the emerging opportunities, coming about through ground breaking research and development in the bioproducts space. The possibilities for renewable wood fibre and residues are enormous, especially when they can end the scourge of single-use plastics.
“I look forward to the progress of PALS and will watch the research and outcomes with great interest, as will the rest of Australia’s forest and bioproduct industries,” Mr Hampton concluded.