Author: Ali Hasanbeigi, Ph.D.
The pulp and paper industry accounted for approximately 5 percent of total industrial final energy consumption and 2 percent of direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the industrial sector worldwide (IEA 2011). (Note: Direct CO2 emissions are emissions from fossil fuel use and chemical reactions produced onsite and do not include emissions associated with purchased steam and electricity.) World paper and paperboard demand and production are increasing; annual production is expected to grow from approximately 365 million tonnes (Mt) in 2006 to between 700 Mt (low estimate) and 900 Mt (high estimate) in 2050. The largest share of this growth will take place in China, India, and other developing countries (see Figure below). This significant increase in paper production will cause a corresponding significant increase in the pulp and paper industry’s absolute energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Studies have documented the potential to save energy by implementing commercially-available energy-efficiency technologies and measures in the pulp and paper industry worldwide. However, today, given the projected continuing increase in absolute paper production, future reductions (e.g., by 2030 or 2050) in absolute energy use and CO2 emissions will require further innovation in this industry. Innovations will likely include development of different processes and materials for paper production or technologies that can economically capture and store the industry’s CO2 emissions. The development of these emerging technologies and their deployment in the market will be a key factor in the pulp and paper industry’s mid- and long-term climate change mitigation strategies.
Many studies from around the world have identified sector-specific and cross- energy-efficiency technologies for the pulp and paper industry that have already been commercialized (See figure below). However, information is scarce and scattered regarding emerging or advanced energy-efficiency and low-carbon technologies for the pulp and paper industry that have not yet been commercialized.
My colleagues at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and I wrote a report that consolidated available information on emerging technologies for the pulp and paper industry with the goal of giving engineers, researchers, investors, paper companies, policy makers, and other interested parties easy access to a well-structured database of information on this topic.
The information about the 36 emerging technologies for the pulp and paper industry was covered in the report and was presented using a standard structure for each technology. Table below shows the list of the technologies covered.
Table. Emerging energy-efficiency and CO2 emissions-reduction technologies for the pulp and paper industry (Kong and Hasanbeigi, et al. 2013 and 2015)
Shifting away from conventional processes and products will require a number of developments including: education of producers and consumers; new standards; aggressive research and development to address the issues and barriers confronting emerging technologies; government support and funding for development and deployment of emerging technologies; rules to address the intellectual property issues related to dissemination of new technologies; and financial incentives (e.g. through carbon trading mechanisms) to make emerging low-carbon technologies, which might have a higher initial costs, competitive with the conventional processes and products.
Our report is published on LBNL’s website and can be downloaded from this Link. Please feel free to contact me if you have any question.
Some of our related publications are:
- Kong, Lingbo; Hasanbeigi, Ali; Price, Lynn, Huanbin Liu (2015). Energy conservation and CO2 mitigation potentials in the Chinese pulp and paper industry. Resource Conservation and Recycling (Accepted- In Press. Available online 29 May 2015).
- Kong, Lingbo; Price, Lynn; Hasanbeigi, Ali; Liu, Huanbin; Li, Jigeng. (2013) Potential for Reducing Paper Mill Energy Use and Carbon Dioxide Emissions through Plant-wide Energy Audits: A Case Study in China. Applied Energy, Volume 102, February 2013, Pages 1334–1342
- Kong, Lingbo; Hasanbeigi, Ali; Price, Lynn, Huanbin Liu (2013). Analysis of Energy-Efficiency Opportunities for the Pulp and Paper Industry in China. Berkeley, CA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. LBNL-6107E
- Kong, Lingbo; Hasanbeigi, Ali; Price, Lynn (2015). Assessment of emerging energy-efficiency technologies for the pulp and paper industry: A technical review. Journal of Cleaner Production. Volume 122, 20 May 2016, Pages 5–28
- Kong, Lingbo; Hasanbeigi, Ali; Price, Lynn (2013). Emerging Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Technologies for the Pulp and Paper Industry. Berkeley, CA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. LBNL-5956E.
- Institute for Industrial Productivity, 2012. Pulp and paper energy efficiency technologies.
- International Energy Agency (IEA). 2011. Energy Transition for Industry: India and the Global Context. Paris, France.
- International Energy Agency (IEA). 2009. Energy Technology Transitions for Industry - Strategies for the Next Industrial Revolution. Paris, France.