CO2-free paper?

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Keyword: Climate change; Greenhouse gas emissions; Paper; Black liquor; Gasification
Publication year: 2004
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 7 Affordable and clean energySDG 12 Responsible consumption and productionSDG 13 Climate action
The SDG label(s) above have been assigned by


Black liquor gasification–combined cycle (BLGCC) is a new technology that has the potential to increase electricity production of a chemical pulping mill. Increased electricity generation in combination with the potential to use biomass (e.g. bark, hog fuel) more efficiently can result in increased power output compared to the conventional Tomlinson-boiler. Because the BLGCC enables an integrated pulp and paper mill to produce excess power, it can offset electricity produced by power plants. This may lead to reduction of the net-CO2 emissions. The impact of BLGCC to offset CO2 emissions from the pulp and paper industry is studied. We focus on two different plant designs and compare the situation in Sweden and the US. The CO2 emissions are studied as function of the share of recycled fibre used to make the paper. The study shows that under specific conditions the production of “CO2-free paper” is possible. First, energy efficiency in pulp and paper mills needs to be improved to allow the export of sufficient power to offset emissions from fossil fuels used in boilers and other equipment. Secondly, the net-CO2 emission per ton of paper depends strongly on the emission reduction credits for electricity export, and hence on the country or grid to which the paper mill is connected. Thirdly, supplemental use of biomass to replace fossil fuel inputs is important to reduce the overall emissions of the pulp and paper industry.


Sara Farahani

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Ernst Worrell

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Göran Bryntse

Högskolan Dalarna; Grafisk teknik
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