August 29, 2005

Paprican, Thynside to apply soda recovery process to non-wood paper mills

Paprican, the not-for-profit Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada, and Thynside Holdings, a company involved in the recovery and commercialization of lignin, have reached an agreement for the commercialization of a process for soda recovery in non-wood pulp mills.

The process was originally developed by Paprican to debottleneck recovery-limited kraft mills and was demonstrated at the pilot plant level. Through independent studies, Thynside determined that this technology could be applied to non-wood-based soda mills that lack conventional recovery systems. The private holding company is now offering this process as part of its portfolio of value-added technologies for black liquor treatment.

Thynside owns two Swiss companies supplying a patented lignin recovery system (the LPS process). Following the industrial debut of the LPS process in France in 2001, Thynside is installing a second industrial plant in India with the capacity to recover more than 10,000 metric tons of lignin per year; the facility will start operations later this year.

In India, China, and other developing countries, a significant portion of the papermaking fibre supply is derived from small non-wood pulping operations. For such mills, installation of a conventional chemical recovery system is usually uneconomical. For many years, these operations were allowed to discharge their black liquor effluent directly into the environment.

Now, pressured by market globalization and the tightening of environmental impact regulations, these mills are now being forced to install proper black liquor treatment systems or shut down their operations. Paprican's process, combined with complementary lignin recovery technologies developed by Thynside and its affiliates, offers an economically viable solution to treat the black liquor from such small pulping operations while meeting environmental regulations.

"We are delighted to see that a technology originally developed for Canadian pulp and paper producers will be useful to non-wood pulp mills located in India, China and other parts of the developing world. It shows that the expertise and technologies developed by Paprican are relevant to the pulp and paper industry on a global basis," said Chris Kanters, Paprican's director of contracts, patents, and licensing.

Dr Jairo Lora, Thynside's chief technology officer, called Paprican's technology "a perfect complement to our other creative offerings for techno-economically feasible solutions for black liquor treatment in small non-wood pulp mills."

Paprican's research programs are driven by the high-priority technical issues of the industry, covering areas such as cost competitiveness, product quality and value, environment and sustainability. With laboratories in Quebec and British Columbia, the institute is well positioned to offer services to the global pulp and paper industry.

More information is available from Chris Kanters at Paprican, 514/630-4114, E-mail; or Dr Jairo Lora at Thynside Holdings, 610/891-0165, E-mail

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