Pulp industry innovates
A common feature in the R&D&I agenda for market pulp producers is to do more with less; excel in resource efficiency, low impact production and aim at zero waste enhancing not only the operational but also environmental performance of their industrial assets. For producers who own their own forests and plantations, the same is true in the forest innovation; to increase the yield per hectare and cultivate more draught and disease tolerant varieties of pulp wood.
A common focus is also on working together with the customers with a strong technical approach not only to improve quality and resource efficiency but also to develop innovative paper and board solutions enhancing customers’ competitiveness in a low carbon world.
Taking advantage of wood’s full potential, totally new innovations have been born in the recent years:
· Refining the fiber to smaller units, microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) and nanocellulose to create new products (See e.g. Arauco, Klabin, The Navigator Company, Suzano, UPM)
· Capitalize on wood’s own glue, lignin, to develop new products replacing fossil materials (See e.g. ENCE, Klabin, Stora Enso, Suzano, UPM)
· New unique textile fibers from paper pulp - see MetsäSpring and Spinnova (Suzano) and Södra with an innovative textile recycling technology
· In addition to existing biochemicals, such as turpentine and tall oil (from softwoods only, see e.g. MetsäFibre, Södra), new biochemical innovations include for example glycols (bioMEG and bioMPG), that can replace fossils in a large variety of applications (see UPM)
· Biofuels, biogas and biocomposites
The above is a manifestation for the circular economy where market pulp producers are using every part of the tree wasting nothing when making new products from renewable resources.