The paper and pulp industry is one of the largest industries in the world. It is dominated by North American, Northern European and East Asian companies. Latin America and Australasia also have significant pulp and paper industries. Over the next few years, it is expected that both India and China will become key players in the industry.
World production of paper and paperboard is around 390 million tonnes and is expected to reach 490 million tonnes by 2020. The paper and pulp industry is a large and growing portion of the world’s economy.
The Paper and Pulp Industry – Global Paper Industry 2018
The paper and pulp industry is faced with mounting environmental, political, and economic pressures to reduce the volume and toxicity of its industrial wastewater. During the last few years, the concept of system closure has been gaining popularity in the forest products industry for the following reasons:
- The concept offers more flexibility in the siting of new mills, including consideration of mill locations with limited fresh-water resources.
- Offers increased opportunities to maintain or expand production in environmentally sensitive locations.
- Offers more favourable market and environmental evaluation of products, including the provision of a more durable solution to future environmental standards.
- Drastically reduces or even eliminates liquid discharges and the associated water quality problems.
- Separates and recycles valuable resources.
- Preserves energy that can be used to reduce the cost of production and amortize capital costs.
- Saves on capital and operating costs for effluent treatment in addition to savings on chemicals and heat.
- Reduces the use of fresh water.
These prospects have encouraged the emergence of new and innovative zero liquid discharge or closed-cycle systems which, when implemented in a mill, will enable the recovery of clean process water from the effluent and recycle it back into the mill. For many years, the pulp and paper industry has been in pursuit of a closed-cycle pulp mill. The driving forces behind this prolonged effort vary from company to company. It appears that one of the overriding goals has been to leave at least one environmental stage altogether and to perhaps get government regulatory compliance agencies and environmentalists off the industry’s back once and for all.
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