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Pulp and paper industry energized

Researchers at North Carolina State University got a boost from the U.S. Department of Energy to the tune of $2.8 m...


March 7, 2005
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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Researchers at North Carolina State University got a boost from the U.S. Department of Energy to the tune of $2.8 million. The grant was handed out in order to facilitate a move towards efficiency and product quality in the pulp and paper industry. Over the next four years, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and North Carolina State University will focus on retrofitting the traditional kraft pulping process by rerouting specific wood pulping process streams, using methods that have yet to be used in the U.S.

Specifically, the NC State team will investigate and evaluate the effects of adding an inexpensive chemical to specific streams, with the intention of enhancing energy efficiency, productivity and product quality of the pulping process. Preliminary calculations have shown that the new process has the potential to reduce the industry’s energy demands, and will save an average U.S. kraft pulp mill more than $7 million per year.

"This research grant will help us understand the chemistry of this process a lot better," said Dr. Lucian Lucia, associate professor of chemistry in the Department of Wood and Paper Science at NC State. "We will then explore the benefits of the work on a large scale by implementing the technology at a mill site over the next four years."


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