The main purpose of EcoSys is to develop and implement energy-saving technologies at production units producing mechanical pulp with high wood yield (> 90%) and thus also demonstrate and further improve the environmental and sustainability aspects of mechanical pulp manufacturing.
"The purpose of our research project is to develop process modeling and visualization of pulp manufacturing so that we can better understand what happens to wood particles and fibers as they go through production processes," says Birgitta Engberg, project Manager for EcoSys. The use of modern digital tools in research and development is important for attracting more young people to the forest industry.
Mechanical pulp is durable and resource efficient, for example, because it is manufactured with a very high yield of raw material (over 90%) and a ton of wood becomes about one ton of product. Products made of mechanical pulp is therefore sustainable, resource efficient, easy to recycle, rot or even burn when they almost only
consists of wood. In the chemical preparation of pulp one usually achieves only half the yield, i.e. the two tons need to be added to produce one ton of paper. Moreover, the chemical manufacturing process is significantly more complicated and several different chemicals need to be used and recycled. Because the world's bioresources in the future will need to be used to replace what is currently made of oil (like plastics
materials and vehicle fuels) and in addition to what is manufactured today by bio materials, our use must be smarter and more sustainable. A high yield in manufacturing different products becomes much more important than today. At present, mechanical pulp is used mainly in different printing paper grades. Demand for printing paper is
relatively low and use only producing newsprint has an added inconvenience to profitability because newspaper readers are constantly decreasing in Sweden and the rest of the western world.
The main purpose of EcoSys is to develop and implement energy-saving technologies at
production units producing mechanical pulp with high wood yield (> 90%) and also demonstrate and further improve the environmental and sustainability aspects of mechanical pulp manufacturing. The problem with mechanical pulp is the high energy demand for the production (about 2 MWh/t printing paper). Our type of production would make pulp producers more competitive and improve the chances that mechanical pulp can continue to be produced in the future. The project can thus contribute to preserve jobs in the region - up to 600 jobs at SCA Ortviken and Valmet in Sundsbruk.
Fiber material (pulp) should be able to be manufactured with 30% lower electricity consumption compared to today's manufacturing system, which would also reduce carbon dioxide load by 30%. About half the production of pulp at SCA Ortviken's paper mill in Sundsvall (a total of about 500,000 tonnes per year) would be energy-efficient in this manner, it would mean a reduction of about 150,000 MWh
per year as well as a reduced carbon dioxide load of approximately 0.48 Mton / year.
The project work is intended to be carried out in seven activities: Refinement, Process intensification, Measurement techniques, Mechanical break aspects, Evaluation and learning, External communication and Publications.