“Biomass” isn't a word most people know. But this renewable, cost effective fuel is becoming increasingly important to our planet. It helps reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and curtail the demand for purchased electricity while lowering greenhouse gas emissions. What is biomass? It's fuel from organic materials. The woody biomass GP uses comes mainly from tree waste, such as bark, wood residues and by-products from pulping wood fiber. And it makes up more than 50 percent of the energy we use to run our plants and mills. As whole trees come into sites such as our Alabama River Cellulose (ARC) facility near Monroeville, Alabama, bark is removed from logs before they go into the chipper. The dissolved lignin (black liquor) is later removed leaving behind the cellulose fibers. The bark and the black liquor are then used as biomass fuel. Click Read More bellow for additional information.
The investments of recent years have had a positive effect on both the levels of energy use and CO2 emissions at the Laakirchen paper mill. This improvement is demonstrated clearly by the Paper and Carbon Profiles, which represent the established method within the industry of showing environmental impact and provide an overview of the relevant parameters. Moreover, Laakirchen Papier AG voluntarily commissioned Quality Austria to undertake an examination of these calculations.
During 2017, Laakirchen Papier completed a variety of reconstruction and extension measures, in the course of which the raw material used was switched from primary to secondary fibres. This change has contributed greatly to a reduction in the electricity requirement and CO2 emissions during the production of SC paper (product name “Grapho”) to levels that are considerably lower than those prior to the reconstruction and expansion work. Thomas Welt, the CEO of Laakirchen Papier AG, sees the success of the paper mill’s environmental projects as follows: “Our aim is a sustainable paper production. We will achieve this through a particular emphasis on an environmentally conscious process cycle and conservative resource utilisation. Consequently, when ordering our customers can rest assured that our products are manufactured on state-of-the-art production facilities. Indeed, with our investments of recent years, we have taken a major step in the right direction.”
The Paper Profile is a voluntary environmental data sheet that deals with the main water and atmospheric emissions emanating from paper production. During its transition to 100% recycling paper, Laakirchen Papier reduced significantly the values covered by this analysis. For example, the specific chemical oxygen demand (COD) was slashed by around a third. In addition, the cessation of pulp purchases resulted in a drop in sulphur emissions and solid landfill waste. The alteration to production has also had a generally positive impact upon the consumption of externally generated electricity with a cut of around 10% per tonne of finished product.
The Carbon Profile is a statement regarding the CO2 emissions derived from paper production and the transport of both raw and finished materials, and follows the calculation criteria prescribed by the CEPI. As a consequence of the reduction in the use of chemicals and the smaller energy requirement, Laakirchen Papier has lowered the specific CO2 emissions from SC production by around one-fifth. Furthermore, as Thomas Welt explains, other projects are currently in the pipeline: “The paper industry is working hard on cutting its energy consumption. Our focus is also on a search for additional future potential for sustainable paper production and continuous improvements. The new hydro-power plant, which will be completed in mid-2019 will have an additional positive effect on the energy consumption of our paper mill.”