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JOINING FORCES FOR FOREST BIOTECHNOLOGY

AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Fletcher Challenge Forests, International Paper, Monsanto Company and Westvaco Corporation have announced their intent to form a forestry biotechnology joint venture to produc...


July 1, 1999
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Fletcher Challenge Forests, International Paper, Monsanto Company and Westvaco Corporation have announced their intent to form a forestry biotechnology joint venture to produce and market tree seedlings that will improve forest health and productivity for the forestry market worldwide. The four companies will contribute US$60 million in total over five years to the joint venture. The companies also announced their intent to contract with Genesis Research and Development, Auckland, to provide genomics research. The joint venture will acquire forestry intellectual property from Genesis. The venture will focus on tree species that represent a majority of the seedlings now planted by the industry and will initially direct its efforts toward various eucalyptus and poplar species, radiata pine, loblolly pine and sweetgum. Targeted genetic improvements include: herbicide tolerant planting stock to enable more cost-effective, as-needed control of competing vegetation; higher growth rates to allow more wood to be grown on less land at lower cost; improved fibre quality and uniformity to increase efficiency in paper and wood products manufacturing processes.

PTS/STI PLAN TO SIMULATE

MUNICH, Germany — PTS, the German paper research and STI (Simons Technologies, Inc. (STI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to partner in the area of simulation technology to develop more effective process solutions for the pulp and paper industry. Several areas of interest have been identified for the partners to collaborate on research projects. The first will focus on optimizing water management in paper mills in which the partners will use simulation technology to develop dedicated and efficient tools for their customers. STI is a producer of dynamic simulation software and is owned by Simons International Corporation that provides engineering, project management and related services.

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TERPENE EXPOSURE NOT A PROBLEM

VANCOUVER, BC — The Forest Industry Health Research program (FIHRP) has completed a study to evaluate airborne concentrations of terpenes at pulp mills. Mill personnel at 12 BC pulp mills collected personal and area samples for analysis of seven terpenes, including delta-carene and alpha-pinene. The results indicate that workers’ exposure to terpenes under normal operating conditions does not represent a health risk. Personal exposures were well below the WCB exposure limit for turpentine of 25 ppm for an 8-hour shift, or 12.5 ppm for a 12-hour shift. Personnel samples collected during planned shutdowns and upset conditions also showed low exposure levels, less than 1 ppm for a full shift. However, upsets are unpredictable and situations could arise that would expose workers to higher terpene concentrations. Based on the results of the study, no action needs to be taken by any of the 12 mills to reduce workers’ exposure to turpentine (total terpenes) or delta-carene during normal operations. A copy of the report, Pulp mill workers’ exposure to terpenes, is available from Agi Lee at the Pulp and Paper Forum, 604-683-8571, or E-mail: alee@paperforum.com. Non-members of the Forum may be charged for the report.

WHY RECYCLED PULP LOSES STRENGTH

GLENDALE, CA — In the February 1999 issue of Paperi ja Puu, an article by B. Cao, Voith Sulzer Paper Technology, U. Tschirner and S. Ramaswamy, University of Minnesota, describes A study of changes in wet-fiber flexibility and surface condition of recycled fibers. It has been generally recognized that the deterioration of recycled pulp is mainly caused by the loss of total bonding strength of recycled pulp while the loss of intrinsic fibre strength is only minor. The loss of total bonding strength may be attributed to one or both of the two fundamental properties of fibres: wet-fibre flexibility and surface condition. Through studies on a series of hemlock pulps with different chemical composition, the changes in these two properties were determined and the main factor which causes the strength loss of recycled pulp was identified. It is found that the dominant factor causing the strength loss of recycled pulp is wet-fibre flexibility. This conclusion is supported by the strength-density relation of recycled pulp and by the changes in pulp Water Retention Value (WRV) on recycling. The other fundamental property of fibres, specific fibre bonding strength, is studied through the application of Page’s equation of tensile strength and is found to remain largely unchanged during recycling.

Further information about items appearing in R&D NEWS can be obtained by contacting the editorial offices of PULP & PAPER CANADA, phone 514-630-5955 or fax 514-630-5980. For Canada and the US, toll free, 1-800-363-1327.


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