Kraft pulp mills are central to the concept of an integrated forest biorefinery, a Swedish forest industry expert told the audience of the International Forest Biorefinery Summit. The Summit opened at PaperWeek Canada 2015 in Montreal on Monday, Feb. 02.
In his keynote speech, Peter Axegård, Innventia AB, discussed the centrality of the kraft mill to the biorefinery concept, noting that worldwide, kraft mills represent significant infrastructure, and as such are a much better choice than greenfield projects or a completely new technology. Kraft mills occupy a unique position in being able to handle all wood feedstocks and produce major polymers as part of their regular production process, with potential new revenue streams coming online in the future, said Axegård.
He stressed that the core focus must nevertheless remain the business of kraft pulping, with the focus on bulk commodities to pay for the production of higher-value products. Axegård introduced some potential products under development by Innventia, including textile pulp that could be used for spinning textiles, carbon fiber from lignin, and methods for the production of xylan.
The biorefinery summit took place Feb. 2-3, running concurrent with PaperWeek Canada, which continues until Feb. 5 in Montreal.