Pulp and Paper Canada

A Closer Look at European Bat Levels

July 1, 2002  By Pulp & Paper Canada

Although Europe is far from home for many of us, the influence or European environmental regulations and guidelines on North American operations will become more and more important in the future. Glob…

Although Europe is far from home for many of us, the influence or European environmental regulations and guidelines on North American operations will become more and more important in the future. Globalization of the pulp and paper industry will drive multinational companies to set environmental targets at the most strict level. For some companies this is the BAT (Best Available Technology) levels set by the European Commission in July 2000.

In July 2000, the European Commission (European IPPC Bureau) released a document called Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC), Reference Document on Best Available Techniques in the Pulp and Paper Industry. The document covers not only kraft but also sulphite pulping, mechanical and chemi-mechanical pulping, recycled fiber processing, papermaking and related processes. Due to the many environmental issues associated with kraft mills, BAT levels for those operations are reviewed here. The IPPC document specifies that the conclusions on BAT are based on real world examples and the expert judgment of a technology working group.



For bleached and unbleached kraft pulp effluent, the BAT levels are the following (expressed in units per air-dried ton of pulp):

For air emissions for both bleached and unbleached mills the levels are the following:

For solid waste, the 3R’s are encouraged: reduce, re-use, and recycle. Finally energy efficient kraft mills are categorized as mills that consume heat and power as follows:

Non-integrated bleached kraft pulp mills: 10-14 GJ/ADT process heat and 0.6-0.8 MWh/ADT of power

Integrated bleached kraft pulp and paper mills (e.g. uncoated fine paper): 14-20 GJ/ADT process heat and 1.2-1.5 MWh/ADT of power

Integrated unbleached kraft pulp and paper mills (e.g. kraftliner): 14-17.5 GJ/ADT process heat and 1.3 MWh/ADT power

The European BAT numbers would be a challenge to achieve for several Canadian Kraft mills. The biggest “bang for the buck” for most Canadian mills would likely be in the area of water reduction, which would also reduce effluent loading and energy consumption. On the air side, there will likely be a need to be a shift away from fossil fuels, as mentioned below. An interesting note is that the European Union is considering a tax of 20 euros per ton of CO2 emitted, as of January 2008.



There is much that can be achieved within each mill by spending very little capital, as follows:

training, education and motivation of staff and operators;

process control optimization;

good maintenance program; and,

an environmental management system that optimizes management, increases awareness and includes goals and measures, process and job instructions.

A good example is the four-hour environmental awareness training given to steam and recovery operators to better control sewer losses and air emissions (classroom sessions, tour of treatment plant).

Some of the technologies and practices outlined as BAT in the IPPC document are the following:

dry debarking;

increased delignification before the bleach plant by extended or modified cooking and additional oxygen stages;

efficient brown stock washing and closed-cycle brown stock screening;

ECF or TCF bleaching;

effective spill monitoring, containment and recovery systems;

stripping and re-use of contaminated condensate;

collection and re-use of clean cooling waters;

secondary treatment, usually in the form of activated sludge treatment;

collection and incineration of NCG, SOG and DNCG gases and control of the resulting SO2, usually by a scrubber;

SO2 emissions from boilers are reduced by increasing biofuels, natural gas, low sulphur oil, and controlling SO2 emissions with a scrubber; and,

flue gases from recovery boilers and auxiliary boilers and lime kilns are cleaned with efficient electrostatic precipitators to mitigate dust emissions



Certain multinational companies are already considering the European BAT levels as an environmental benchmark for all their mills to achieve. In many cases, European mills are much closer to achieving the levels or have already achieved them. This is due primarily because of modernized and upgraded operations that include the latest environmental technologies. For North America, these numbers will be a stretch for many kraft mills due to the age of the mills and a lower level of environmental improvements over the years.

Not only is this issue more important on an international competitive scale but environmental groups and customers are beginning to notice it. Stakeholder groups are becoming more aware of international environmental regulations and standards. For example, paper buyers with environmental concerns are buying from mills in Canada, the US and Europe and are seeing first hand the various environmental standards in each of these areas. If paper buyers are considering mill environmental performance as part of supplier selection, and some are, they will reward companies that meet high standards. These requirements often go far beyond government regulations in North America.

The best way to address this is for mills to set clear environmental targets every year so that they get closer and closer to expected BAT levels, such as the ones listed above. This could be a key part of the mill environmental management system.

If we are ahead of our competition and even of our own sister mills, pressure and requirements from customers, environmental groups and the public will be much lower and efforts will be recognized and even rewarded with more orders.

You can obtain the IPPC reference document from the web at http://eippcb.jrc.es

Phil Riebel is Environmental Director – North America, UPM-Kymmene Inc. He can be reached at phil.riebel@upm-kymmene.com


Flow COD BOD TSS AOX Total Nitrogen Total Phosphorus
(m3/ ADT) (kg/ADT) (kg/ADT) (kg/ADT) (kg/ADT) (kg/ADT) (kg/ADT)
Bleached Pulp 30 – 50 8 – 23 0.3 – 1.5 0.6 – 1.5 < 0.25 0.1 – 0.25 0.01 – 0.03
Unbleached Pulp 15 – 25 5 – 10 0.2 – 0.7 0.3 – 1.0 0.1 – 0.2 0.01 – 0.02
Dust (kg/ADT) SO2 (as S) kg/ADT NOx (NO+NO2 as NO2) kg/ADT TRS (as S) kg/ADT
0.2 – 0.5 0.2 – 0.4 1.0 – 1.5 0.1 – 0.2

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