Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Conclusions from the overall analysis of results for better use of European spruce resources in pulp and paper production

The overall analysis of the results from the different parts of the project gave the following results:
- There are large variations in wood and fiber properties in the forest. The differences between wood raw materials of various origins are characterized. The data are compiled in a database.

- Prediction models are developed for the most important wood and fiber properties.

- The variations are larger within each region than between regions.

- The differences in wood properties will in most cases affect the properties of the pulp and paper produced. This was shown in comprehensive laboratory, pilot-plant and full-scale mill trials, with consistent results.

- The use of chips from pulpwood, especially from thinning, may improve the optical properties of the products.

- The use of sawmill chips, especially from large-diameter timber, may improve strength properties.

- The specific energy consumption is lower for sawmill chips than for chips from pulpwood.

- Benefits from selective use of the available wood materials in relation to product and process are proven in the mill trials.

- The potential to benefit from this and the manner in which it should be implemented differ among mills. Practices have to be designed according to the specific demands and possibilities of each mill and company.

- Tools are needed for the efficient analysis of such demands and possibilities and for the development of dedicated applications.

- Tools are also needed for prediction of wood and fiber properties in the forest and for allocation of materials to mills and products. The tools should be integrated into efficient system for planning, operations and logistics in "forestry-wood chains" from tree to product.

- The project results may play an important role in the development of new sound solutions for improved product quality and production efficiency in mills and companies. Such solutions should take all the production chain from tree to product into account. Examples of results useful in such applications are the models for prediction of wood and fiber properties in trees.

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:
- Mill one is preparing the introduction of wood selection for different products.

- Mill two will use the data and models to optimise its use of wood.

- Mill three has started to use a more favourable mix of raw materials and has simplified its wood handling.

- Mill four has a potential to save bleaching chemicals, but will not proceed now.

- Mill five has a potential to vary its chip supply according to availability more than today.

- The mills have acquired better knowledge about relationships between raw materials, energy consumption, process conditions and product properties. This will contribute to the development of better products, reduced energy consumption and costs and thus increased competitiveness.

The process supplier may supply its customers with process solutions, refiner plates and operating conditions better designed for production of products with specified properties from available raw materials. The knowledge is now 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 projects and used for fundamental research as well as development of applications. Also other products, wood species and regions are addressed. Examples are:
- Tools for optimal allocation of wood to mills and products, to be used for strategic planning as well as on-line during harvesting.

- Data and models for other wood species, regions and products.

- Studies of "best use" of the regionally available wood raw materials for specific companies, mills and products.

Also other stake-holders than the project partners may benefit from the results:
- Better use of the European forest resources and improved competitiveness of the wood based industry are positive for forestry and society in regions dependent on the forest industry sector.

- Better quality of paper is positive for other enterprises in the value chain (printers, converters, etc.) as well as for the end-user.

- The results are useful in education.

The results of the EuroFiber project have been disseminated though many channels to various target groups.

The partners are now using the results of the EuroFiber project in further research and development. The paper companies are communicating results to other mills within the companies. The research institutes and the process supplier are ready to support their customers in the development of applications based on the project results.

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