Paper and pulp industry well-poised for biochemical and biofuel production

Jul 9, 2014

Will pulp and paper mills make a successful transition to become an additional source of sustainable chemical intermediates?  Leveraging existing infrastructure, technology, and access to raw materials, the pulp and paper industry is well-poised for biochemicals and/or biofuels production.  Cross-industrial integration of the pulp and paper industry with the chemicals industry has been considered and some projects are underway.  However, regulatory uncertainties coupled with process development hurdles have dampened efforts and momentum towards a widely adapted industry model.  Regardless, bio-based chemicals continue to present a potential opportunity to add value and reduce net costs for the pulp and paper industry.

As far back as the 1890s, wood waste via logging and mill work has been used to produce ethanol in both the US and Germany.  Further into the 1940s and 1950s, about 40 mills in the US were used to produce alcohol as a by-product.  Additionally, the process technologies used for fuel production (e.g., gasification) are well-established and mature.  So, why has the integration of the pulp and paper industry into bio-refineries only become a venue of interest over the past 5 years?  What are the next steps required for the evolution of the industry?

Download the white paper below to read an in-depth analysis of how the pulp and paper industry is well-poised for biochemical and/or biofuels production simply by leveraging existing infrastructure, technology, and access to raw materials: