As a result of the shift towards a bio-based economy, the demand of fibres from previously non-forest sectors (such as the energy sector) has increased. This has had a significant impact on the paper and board industry and the prices and demand of the recycled fibre based raw materials have started to increase. The pulp and paper industry has to improve the resource efficiency of the current paper products with minimum environmental impacts. By-streams from recycling processes will in the future no longer be considered as (costly) waste streams but will be regarded as a source of many valuable components. They can be used for a production of additional high value products in addition to paper (multi-product mill concept). By optimising the use of different material fractions with lower papermaking potential from recycling streams, both material and energy savings of about 20 % each can be achieved for the same functionality of the paper and board products.
Robust methodologies, models and tools are required in order to show the possibilities for resource efficient reuse and valorisation along the value chain. Production design and process modelling tools need to be linked together to determine the economic and technical feasibility of multi-product mill concepts as well as their environmental impacts. The experimental part includes the development of innovative analytical tools to control production processes, demonstrations and integration of the results to a practical guide for decision makers. The results will help complete value chains of paper and board industry, converting industry and end users to decrease their overall waste production, improve resource efficiency and increase competitiveness by value added novel products from waste with lower environmental impacts. Indicators relevant to resource-efficiency and environmental impacts are developed, tested in practical case studies together with the industry and used to further develop standards.
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