The objective is to increase the competitiveness of the European pulp and paper industry (better and more uniform product quality, more cost efficient production) through a more rational utilization of European forest resources. Production of newsprint and LWC paper from Norway spruce will be focused, but the results and methodology may be transferred also to other products and wood species. Wood and fibber properties of Norway spruce will be measured on wood samples from many European regions. Models for prediction of properties will be developed. Pulp will be produced in laboratory and pilot plant scale, to study the potential of wood with different origins as raw material for different products. New and better industrial wood raw material assortments will be defined and tested through full-scale trials in mills in different regions. A European supplier of process equipment will also apply the results.
Coordinated investigations in forests, laboratories, pilot plant and mills followed by an overall analysis have given the following results -The variations in wood and fiber properties of the major European spruce resources have been characterized through comprehensive sampling and measurements, emphasizing properties of importance for paper production, especially from mechanical pulp. A database has been built with related data on properties of stands, trees, wood and fibers from five countries. ¡P Analysis of data shows large differences in properties of wood and fibers of different origins. The variations are larger within each region than between regions. ¡P Models have been developed, improved and adapted to predict fiber and wood properties of importance for paper production (fiber length, fiber width, fiber wall thickness and basic wood density) in stems and logs from European spruce resources. With these models and measured or assessed tree parameters of stands, the properties may be predicted with acceptable accuracy to improve production in different forestry-wood chains
- Comprehensive laboratory, pilot-plant and full-scale mill trials, with consistent results, have shown that the differences in wood properties will in most cases affect the properties of the pulp and paper produced. This will normally create problems, but may also be used to reach benefits: ¡P The use of chips from pulpwood, especially from thinning, may improve the optical properties of the products. ¡P The use of sawmill chips, especially from large-diameter timber, may improve strength properties. ¡P The specific energy consumption is lower for sawmill chips than for chips from pulpwood.
¡P Benefits from selective use of the available wood materials in relation to products and processes were proven in the mill trials
- The potential to benefit from this and the manner in which it should be implemented differ among mills. Tools are needed to design practices and tools to optimize the allocation of the available wood resources to the specific demands and possibilities of each product, mill and company, considering planning, operations and logistics in all the "forestry-wood chains" from tree to product. ¡P Data and prediction models from the project and other sources are now used in the development and introduction of such systems for forest planning, tree harvesters, logistics and industrial production planning. For each participating mill, the project has provided a basis to decide if and how the mill can benefit from a more selective utilization of the available wood and fiber materials, related to its products and processes. Applications are being prepared in most mills: ¡P Mill one is preparing the introduction of wood selection for different products. ¡P Mill two will use the data and models to optimize its use of wood. ¡P Mill three is now using a more favorable mix of raw materials and has simplified its wood handling. ¡P Mill four has a potential to save bleaching chemicals, but will not proceed now. ¡P Mill five has a potential to vary its chip supply according to availability more than today. ¡P Knowledge has been gained about relationships between raw materials, energy consumption, process conditions and product properties. This will be used to develop better products, reduce energy consumption and costs and, thus, for increased competitiveness. ¡P The results are now being communicated to other mills within the companies.
The process supplier has gained further knowledge on how to design process solutions for the production of products with specified properties from available raw materials, to be utilized in development, marketing and services
- The research institutes have developed new and improved methods, databases, models and approaches, which are now further developed in new RTD projects. Examples are: ¡P Tools for optimal allocation of wood to mills and products, for strategic planning as well as on-line at harvesting. ¡P Data and models for other wood species, regions and products. ¡P Studies of best use of the regionally available wood raw materials for specific companies, mills and products
- Other stake-holders may also benefit from the results: ¡P They are useful in education. ¡P Better quality of paper is positive for other enterprises in the value chain (printers, converters, etc.) as well as for the end-user. ¡P Better use of the European wood resources is of utmost importance also for the hundreds of thousands of forest owners and small enterprises engaged in forest operations, transportation and other services to the forest-based sector in Europe and thus for all the society in regions dependent on this sector
- The project results have been disseminated though many channels to various target groups. The research institutes and the process supplier are ready to support their customers in the development of applications based on the project results.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
CA14 1JX Workington Cumbria
751 83 Uppsala