Energy costs take a big sum of revenue from the pulp and paper industry. Thus, investing in energy efficiency projects is the answer.
FREMONT, CA: The global pulp and paper industry is the fifth largest consumer of energy and it accounts for 4 percent of the entire world’s energy use. A typical paper mill in India consumes approximately 34.3 GJ/ton of paper which includes wood chipping and pulping. Lack of energy availability and increased cost has led to energy conversation in the paper industry. However, energy-efficiency improvements require innovative designs and processing techniques. Furthermore, it requires investments in energy efficiency projects, which small paper mills cannot afford to make. Few of the big paper mills in India have opted for energy efficiency reductions as energy makes 16 percent of the entire operating cost, and such reductions will affect the overall revenue. The paper mills have also recognized that investing in energy efficiency projects can reduce water and associated chemical consumption, which improves energy and water security for the plant.
The pulp and paper mills in the USA and Europe are reducing their energy consumption while increasing production by investing in energy efficiency measures. However, further energy savings are still possible. The European Union has invested in combined heat and power (CHP) generation to improve energy efficiency. The result of the step is that Europe produces almost half of the electrical energy it consumes. With the help of energy efficiency improvements, the direct CO2 emissions have decreased while the pulp and paper production has increased.
In the western world, papermaking technology has developed significantly. As a result, the quality and strength of paper have increased, and the energy required for production has decreased. The pulp and paper industry is in a unique position to improve energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions as it uses biomass fuel and recycles heat energy to generate power. In the future, the industry could even become a supplier of energy. The boilers and the paper drying are the main areas for improvement within a paper mill. Thus, the industry must focus on making its technology more energy-efficient, adopting the best available techniques (BAT), enhancing recycling, and supporting R&D efforts to develop more efficient processes and technologies. Organizations are investing in potential breakthrough technologies that are being tested to demonstrate market viability and increase efficiency even further.