Raw Materials for Paper Manufacturing
Today, there is massive competition in the corporate world. Companies continually seek ways to stay in business and to outdo their rivals. Consequently, many institutions have embraced advertising to stay in business. There are many ways to advertise especially by use of media. In this century, use of internet and audio-visual media is gaining popularity as the medium for advertisements. In spite of their popularity, these forms of advertisements are yet to outdo print media. For centuries, print media has dominated the advertisement industry. The most essential material for print media is the paper. Over the years, the paper has continuously changed form from scrolls to thick sheets, and then to the current thin sheet we have today. Mail advertisements are among the popular mediums of presentation used today. For a piece of junk mail to reach the intended party successfully, it goes through a series of complex processes. The production processes consume raw materials and energy from the environment. Consequently, at the end of the processes, the factory release emissions and wastes to the environment. To appreciate this process, it is necessary to understand the life cycle of the production processes. Life cycle assessment methods help in calculating the raw materials and energy consumed by this processes. Further, the methods used establish implication of emissions released to the environment by this processes (Carnegie Mellon University 1). This article focuses on steps involved in production of papers, which are the main raw material used in making newspapers. This article highlights steps followed in factories to produce paper. These steps include acquisition, manufacturing, transportation, and distribution of raw materials. Additionally, it focuses on recovery and management of wastes and emissions released. Further, this article reports on the findings of the investigation conducted. It highlights the assumptions made and failures in the course of the research.
History of the paper
Some researchers trace the origins of the paper to Egypt, in River Nile while others link the origin of the paper to China. People started using paper about 5,000 years ago. Just like today, people in the past used various materials such as cotton, linen, wood, grass, and papyrus to make papers. For years, many communities have used the as a measure of quality of life (Roekel 1).
Acquisition of raw materials
Paper manufacturing plants use renewable resources for production of papers. The main raw materials used are pulp, water, and energy. Pulp comes from plants such as trees, elephant grass, papyrus, and switch grass. In addition, some factories use vegetable matter, recycled papers, and recycled linen to produce papers. Workers harvest the trees manually or using machines. Lorries or tractors then transport the materials to the respective factories. Pipes and pumps supply water to the factories. The factories get chemical components such as dyes, inks, bleaches, and filler materials from the respective suppliers. Factories get energy form of electricity, firewood, and gas.
Junk mails are usually printed by means of mineral oil ink. Due to the fact that newsprint does not include heating, there is time needed for drying the ink, which is absorbed by the paper inner fibers and remains throughout the entire lifecycle of the paper. Inks are composed of four major elements - resins, pigments, solvents, and additives. The black pigment derives from carbon black, binder, composed of oil and resin, and a variety of addictive, including drying and chelating agents. Resins bind other components of the ink and form a film for binding the ink and the paper. The substance can be composed of cellulose derivatives and such chemical substances as maleic, alkyds, phenolic, and formaldehydes. Cyclized rubber and chlorinated rubber are two major types used in the printing production. Further, solvents are applied in the ink production to keep the liquid from the printed surface (Print Ink Technology and Manufacture 2). Volatile solvents include such compositions as ethyl acelate, isopropanol, and methylated spirits. Finally, additives are necessary to alter the properties of the ink. They include cyclohexane, aromatic distillates, butoxyethanol, methoxypropanol acetate, and butyrolactone (Print Ink Technology and Manufacture 3).
Processing and manufacturing of the raw materials
This involves converting fibers from the respective sources into flat thin sheets of paper. Factories use chemical or mechanical processes to convert wood into pulp. In the mechanical process, workers use large drums to debark the logs. The workers then put the logs inside grinders fitted with rotating slabs, which squeeze and crush the logs to remove water. After this, the workers filter the resulting solution to remove dirt. In the chemical process, the workers remove the barks from the wood and chop the logs into small pieces. The next step involves placing the logs in digesters and boiling them in chemical solutions at high pressure. The workers bleach the pulp to give it a rich white color. The workers then add filler materials to the pulp to make the sheets opaque. In addition, they add sizings such as rosin and gum, which influence the reaction of the sheets to different inks (Lecta Group 12). The workers then feed the pulp into automated machines that squeeze the pulp through several rollers. This rollers help to remove water in the pulp and convert the pulp into flat sheets of paper. A dandy machine then moves across the thin sheets in order to design them. The sheets then pass over a series of steam-heated cylinders to get rid of the remaining water. The workers then smooth the papers by passing the sheets through machines called calendars. Further, the workers coat, shape, brush, and size the sheets accordingly. Finally, they count, pack, and pile the papers in a safe place using automated machines.
Transportation and distribution of the papers
After the workers complete the manufacturing process, they pack the papers according to size, color, texture, and design. They then distribute the papers to different companies based on the orders. Finally, the workers transport the papers to their respective destinations. Factories use road, rail, or air to transport the papers depending on the quality and quantity.
Use, re-use, and maintenance of papers
Papers have diversified uses. Research shows that almost all corporate institutions and households use papers in their day-to-day activities. People from diverse lifestyles have embraced the use of papers. Examples include students, teachers, parents, employers, and employees among other people. The widespread use of the paper shows its importance. People mainly use papers to communicate. However, papers have advanced uses such as making decorations and bags. Used papers are also useful. People recycle them to make more tissue papers, cartons, and decorations among other uses.
It is essential for individuals to use papers efficiently. This is because the resources used come from the environment, which is susceptible to degradation and pollution that results from the paper making processes. People should maintain papers by using them for the right purposes. In addition, individuals should put used papers to proper use. This way the papermaking life cycle will be less harmful to the environment (European Commission 1).
Evidently, papers are essential to a large population in running their everyday duties. This makes industries related to paper and pulp industry important as they play an integral role in the social and economic developments. However, these industries pose challenges to the environment. In their bid to satisfy the overwhelming demand for papers, Pulp and paper industries emit large amounts of waste throughout the production processes. These wastes range from primary sludge, organic wastes, to greenhouse gases.
Factories release emissions and wastes in all stages of paper production. In the first stage, wastes consist of rejected virgin pulps, sand, remains of woods, and barks, which the factory cannot use in subsequent processes. During the chemical recovery process, the factory emits wastes such as green liquor sludge, lime mud, wastewater, and chemical waste sludge. When making paper the mills emit wastes such as fibers, wool, and impurities like metal and staples. Further, paper and pulp industries produce harmful air emissions. Components such as electricity-generating units produce gases such as sulfur oxide, nitrogen oxide, methane, and volatile organic compounds. On top of being malodorous, these emissions cause massive air pollution (Venditti 17).
Stakeholders of the paper and pulp industry have a responsibility towards management of wastes and emissions related to this industry. The government on its part should enforce firm regulations. It should also spell out the limits of this industry. The public should ensure that this industry does not compromise their safety through pollution of the environment. These factories should recover wastes and emissions, and convert them into useful products. For example, the factories should use greenhouse gases to generate heat and energy in the manufacturing plants (Office of Air and Radiation 12). In addition, these factories should minimize the generation of wastes. They should embrace installations that save on energy. Further, they should embrace new and convenient techniques. In case of closure, plants should leave the location in its original state or in an improved state. Further, these factories should engage in waste recovery processes such as wet oxidation and steam reformation. The factories should ensure safe and convenient disposal of their emissions and wastes. The factories should also engage in recycling of wastes. For example, factories can use barks and rejected pulps as fuel for the furnaces. These factories can use treated wastewater in the production processes. Finally, the factories should reclaim land and engage in activities that enhance soil fertility.
Summary of research findings
When conducting research, an individual gets to learn a lot and encounters several challenges. The factory management in many firms is ready to talk of the achievements of their companies. However, it is hesitant to open up on the challenges and flaws of the firms. This investigation was a success in terms of information gained. The information gathered on the general procedure of paper manufacturing process was efficient.
Today, the paper industry is one of the big industries in the world. Many people use the paper widely in their everyday activities. This has led to the growth of this industry. There is a booming market for paper products in countries like India and the US. This has contributed to the massive production of the papers. This industry has two main sub-sectors. The first sub-sector deals with manufacture of pulp and paper while the latter concentrates on manufacturing paper products. Manufacture of paper is the core activity of this industry. Most factories in the industry engage in the manufacture of both paper and converted paper products. This industry has witnessed a series of transformations when it started (U.S Censors Bureau 1). Technological advancement and extensive research have propelled the industry forward and helped to improve its quality. As the investigation established, the stakeholders have put more effort in order to improve this industry.
However, this industry faces major challenges. Being a universal industry, it requires many resources for it to function. Most of these resources are renewable while several are non-renewable. Further, there are large numbers of harmful wastes and emissions that result from the production processes. The investigation carried out failed to establish permanent and lasting solutions to some of the problems faced by this industry. No factory had a lasting solution regarding safe disposal of waste and re-use of harmful wastes. It was a challenge for the research to find out the truth regarding the actual processes involved in disposal of wastes and emissions in these factories. The research had to make assumptions for it to move forward with the investigations. Such assumptions rotated around the technicality involved in the entire production process. For instance, the research assumed that the life expectancy of this industry would be shorter if the industry does not take precautionary measures. The research evaluated the impact of the increased use of internet instead of papers. Further, the research assessed the consequences of the environmental issues to the industry.
Importance of paper making industry in the newspaper advertisement process is evident. It is essential to understand the life cycle of the paper-manufacturing sub-sector. The life cycle assessment estimates the amount of materials and energy that factories consume in the process of producing papers. Further, the life cycle assessment calculates the amount of wastes and emissions released to the environment by the factories. Overall, the life cycle assessment method aims at establishing the impact of the production processes to the environment. Researching on this process enables individuals to understand the different sub-sectors involved in production of a single product. For instance, designing of and distribution of junk mail depends on sub-sectors such as paper, ink, electricity, and transport industries. Therefore, all these subsectors should consider the impacts of their functions on the environment and strive to maintain ecological balance for a sustainable ecosystem (Krowaski, Bresky and Pettersson11 ).
Carnegie Mellon University. EIO-LCA: Free, Fast, Easy Life Cycle Assessment. n.d. Web. 11 March 2013. <http://www.eiolca.net/>.
European Commission. Joint Research Center. 2013. Web. 11 March 2013. <http://lca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/lcainfohub/datasetArea.vm>.
Krowaski, klaus, Jan Bresky and Börje Pettersson. A Life Cycle Assesment of the Production of a daily Newspaper and Weekly Magazine. Zurich: Axel Spirnger Verlag AG , 1998. Print.
Lecta Group. About Paper Manufacturing. 2008. Web. 11 March 2013. <http://www.torraspapel.com/Conocimiento%20Tcnico/AboutPaperManufacturing.pdf>.
Office of Air and Radiation. Available and Emerging Technologies for Reducing Greenhouse Gases emission from the Pulp and Paper Manufacturing Industry. 2010. Web. 11 March 2013. <http://www.epa.gov/nsr/ghgdocs/pulpandpaper.pdf>.
Roekel, Gertjan. Hemp Pulp and Paper Production. 1994. Web. 11 March 2013. <http://druglibrary.net/olsen/HEMP/IHA/iha01105.html>.
U.S Censors Bureau. NAICS 322: Paper Manufacturing. n.d. Web. 11 March 2013. <http://www.census.gov/epcd/ec97/def/322.HTM>.
Venditti, Richard. Life Cycle Analysis of Paper Products. 2011. Web. 11 March 2013. <http://www4.ncsu.edu/~richardv/documents/LCAPaper62012.pdf>.
Print Ink Technology and Manufacture. PDF File. n. d. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. <http://nzic.org.nz/ChemProcesses/polymers/10E.pdf>
Pulp to Paper Processing
White copy paper has been an important material for communication in society mainly because it has served to preserve words, ideas, and memories. The demand for paper has blossomed into an ever-growing industry. Although many people know that paper is from trees, many also do not consider how it was made or where the white color is from. This paper becomes notably white after additives and chemicals transform the brown tree pulp into white fluff. The use for paper and pulp has not ceased and continues to grow. Paper is one of the most versatile forms of material used in the world today. The paper’s wide range of use has inspired new processes and components to innovate new forms and purpose for this material. Although paper may seem like a simple resource, different raw materials are added into a life cycle that begins with the extraction of trees to the finished product, and finally to the recycling of the material. Each step requires the addition of other chemicals or equipment to carry the paper process onto the next step.
One of the earliest forms of paper used in history was papyrus paper, a material made out of the reeds in Egypt. However, according to Oklahoma State University on the Basics of Paper Manufacturing by Salim Hiziroglu, the process of paper-making that many people are familiar with originated in China and gradually spread across Europe to the United States. Most of the paper processed today is from 100% virgin pulp wood. These types of paper are processed from cutting down new trees and are not from other recycled materials (Hiziroglu 1). Today there are alternative fibers that have replaced part of the tree pulp in paper, but the substitutions are minimal, with most sheets having only about 5% of alternative fibers (Rydholm 2). The major type of paper used today is white copy, or printing paper.
According to Sven A. Rydholm, a research director from Sweden and author of Pulping Processes, the pioneer of the modern pulping industry began with Erik Hagglund. Many of the practices introduced by Hagglund are continued in paper making facilities today. To make white printing paper, the primary raw material used is cellulose fiber from trees. The main part of the tree used for pulping is the trunk (2). Cutting down trees as a raw material for paper can be evidenced centuries ago, but the form of extracting trees has changed. Based on the findings from The USDA Forest Service, before the use of the modern logging machines, lumberjacks used a single iron blade attached to a straight handle. About a century later, around 1850, the ax evolved into a doubled edged tool with steel welded on instead of iron. Flashing forward, the ax was replaced with various forms of the saw including the chainsaw. The increased efficiency of the saw can arguably be one of the largest influences into pushing the paper industry into looking for new tools with greater efficiency. This drive launched the introduction of larger mechanizations in logging practices. One of the first large machines used for logging was launched in 1960. The machine was a tractor fitted with shears, designed to not only cut the tree at various lengths, remove the bark and limbs, but to also transport the logs with greater ease. The construction of tractors today, despite added technology for comfort, still operate along the same lines as the first tractor introduced around the middle of the 20th century (“The USDA”).
Paper industries usually either use 100% virgin pulp wood or add in substitution fillers. As stated above, if using fillers, only about 5% of the paper’s pulp is substituted with other materials such as bagasse, straw, or bamboo (Rydholm 2). While trees are the primary materials used to make paper, forming bleached printing paper requires the addition of various other chemicals and processing.
Based on the research from Rydholm, after the process of extracting trees from the forest, the wood is transported by boxcar or truck to the wood yard. Here, wood is prepped for pulping in the paper facility. At the wood yard, water is sprayed over the wood to remove impurities as well as achieve a desirable affect (263). The water used in this process, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, comes from open sources such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs. The other area that water is extracted from includes ground aquifers or places where land mass hold ground water (“Water” 7). After the spraying process, if the wood has not yet been cleared of its limbs and bark, it will be transferred to debarking equipment. There are several types of debarking machines used, but the most common one used is the debarking drum. These large cylinders are slightly inclined and lined with coarse slots that strip the bark from the wood. The leftover bark can be collected and used for fuel as well as soil enhancement (Rydholm 264).
After wood is debarked, according to Rydholm, the lumber is sent to the chipper where the logs are reduced to smaller fragments of wood. The purpose of the chipper is to allow easier absorption of chemicals added later. In general, a chipper has around ten knives. The log passes through a spout and is pulled in towards a rotating disk by the knives (see figure 1). Immediately after, the chips are transported to the screening department where the chips are separated according to size and further refined for pulping. There are different methods used to transform timber into pulp, but the overall purpose of pulping in all methods is to release the fiber or lignin from the wood (267, 282).
Following pulping, it is stated that wood is sent to the kraft process to break down all other parts of the wood without disturbing the cellulose fiber. While there are a few other machines that can be used for this purpose, the most commonly practiced method is the kraft process (see figure 2). Here, the chips are heated and cooked in chemicals known together as “white liquor.” The liquor is made up of around 25% sulfur and the active alkali sodium hydroxide. The kraft process is preferred over other pulping processes because the pulping liquor used in the kraft process provides for a quicker assimilation into the wood. (Rydholm 576-578).
One of the components in white liquor is sodium hydroxide or NaOH. Another term given to NaOH is lye or caustic soda. Based on the research from ChemPaths, the sodium hydroxide results from the electrolysis of brine. Not only is NaOH a result from electrolyzing brine, but Cl2, and H2 are also obtained. The brine is an aqueous sodium chloride solution and is fundamental to the chloralkali industry. During the electrolysis of brine, the chloride ions gradually are removed and replaced with hydroxide ions. Gradually, the solution changes from sodium chloride to sodium hydroxide. The equipment used for this process before 1970 was mercury cells, but because of the leaching of mercury into the environment, the equipment got replaced with diaphragm cells (“Electrolysis”) (see figure 3).
The second component of white liquor is sulfur. According to an article on sulfuric acid by Industrial Chemistry, there are two forms of extraction used to remove sulfur from the environment. The first method is known as the claus process. This process is used normally if sulfur is being collected from process streams such as ones from petroleum refining plants. The second method is called the frasch process. Here, three pipes, two for water and one for air is drilled into the ground. The two outer pipes pump highly pressurized, heated water into the sulfur dome. The sulfur becomes denser and raises to the surface as heated, compressed air is passed through the innermost pipe (“Industrial”) (see figure 4).
The kraft process yields two by-products or waste liquors known as crude sulfate turpentine and crude tall oil (Rydholm 826). Sulfate turpentine, according to Karen Haneke, a researcher from Integrated Laboratory Systems, results from the distillation of different types of trees. Further processing of sulfate turpentine yields sulfite turpentine (1). Crude sulfate turpentine has a foul smell contributed by some of the sulfur compounds from previous processing. The waste liquor is distilled to remove the main odor causing compounds (Rydholm 826). The other by-product from the kraft process is crude tall oil. The sulfurous compounds from pulp processing gives this oil a dark brown color as well as the physical properties of tar. This by-product is widely used for processing into other chemical products as well as a replacement of other raw materials such as gum, wood rosin, hydrocarbon resins, and vegetable oils (Haneke 2,8; Rydholm 827).
Even after the pulp has formed, according to Pulping Processes, once chemicals are used, it is essential for pulp to undergo washing to wash out the soluble impurities, creating greater efficiency for the later screening and bleaching tasks (Rydholm 716). Following the distillation and screening of pulp, according to a researcher from the University of Toronto, the pulp heads to the hydrapulper where it is prepared and broken up into smaller pieces for bleaching. The hydrapulper is a tank that contains water and an agitator at the bottom to break up the pulp. After the pulp is ready for bleaching, a conveyor belt brings the readied pulp to be bleached. The purpose of the bleaching operation according to Rydholm, is to create the desired whiteness and brightness of the pulp by modifying its physical and chemical properties (see figure 5). In this process, some of the components in the unbleached pulp are removed or modified based on the desired characteristics of white paper (839). Prior to the bleaching operation, sodium and hydrogen peroxide is mixed into the pulp. The production of sodium and hydrogen peroxide for pulp bleaching will be explained below. These components balance the pulp’s pH and act as a lignin-preservative for the bleach that will be added. Brighter paper requires more lignin fiber removal as well as greater amounts of bleach additives. With the introduction of chlorine dioxide in kraft pulping, paper productions were able to manufacture brighter paper with lower costs and larger yields (Rydholm 886).
Sodium not only can be found in natural resources such as water reservoirs, but it can also be commercially prepared. An article on sodium production prepared by a group of doctors who focus on chemical corrosion, states that sodium is prepared commercially by the electrolysis of molten sodium chlorine in a down's cell (see figure 6). The process involves a cylindrical iron cathode and graphite anode that produces reformed sodium metal from the cathode and chloride gas at the anode. Throughout this process, an iron screen is used to keep sodium and chloride from making contact with one another. Additionally, sodium is kept from oxygen to prevent oxidization in the cell ("Sodium Production").
The production of hydrogen peroxide, according to Terry Deed from Du Pont Peroxide Ltd., begins first with the hydrogenation of palladium catalyzing the reaction between hydrogen and anthraquinone to create anthrahydroquinone. Next, the palladium catalyst is filtered from the solution. Following filtration, air is blown through the solution and oxidized into hydrogen peroxide. Finally, the hydrogen peroxide is removed and concentrated by vacuum distillation. In general, the manufacturing of hydrogen peroxide includes the catalysis reaction of hydrogen, which from Deed’s studies is gathered from processing Maui Gas, with atmospheric oxygen to produce hydrogen peroxide (1).
According to the University of Princeton’s research on the manufacture and technology of Pulp Bleaching, the de-lignification is conducted as the first step of the bleaching process. Without the removal of lignin, the raw pulp will continue to darken over time. Bleaching also removes hemicellulose, which is found along the cellulose of many plants, and other undesired matter that is passed through the screening process. Before modern bleaching techniques, bleaching had to be conducted in multiple stages by adding in calcium hypochlorite and extracting alkaline several times. Technological developments have replaced hypochlorite with chlorine. The addition of chlorine reduces bleaching costs and improves the efficiency of delignification. The process, which was developed in the 1950s, is a five-stage bleaching sequence that includes chlorine, two alkaline extractions, and two additions of chlorine dioxide (41). Like sodium hydroxide, chlorine is created from the electrolysis of brine that was described above.
Following bleaching operations, according to Pulping Processes, the paper is ready to be sent immediately to screening and cleaning to remove impurities that may have passed through or shown up during the bleaching process. The screens are operated using a high-frequency vibratory movement. The pulp that passes through the screen goes to vortex cleaners that are powered by water. Pulp that does not fit through the screen is usually considered as recyclable waste and taken into another room for rescreening into other pulp products. After the wet operations, paper pulp is now ready for drying procedures. The most common pulp drying equipment has a fourdrinier or cylinder type section (see figure 7). From the end of the dryer, the pulp is transformed into a continuous sheet of paper. Here, the paper is cut, measured, or rolled into desirable shapes (1081-1087) (see figure 8).
After the paper is cut and rolled, the paper is distributed by air travel, sea transportation, or land vehicles. Following distribution, the paper is used and thrown out in a wide variety of ways. According to the EPA on Paper Making and Recycling, after paper becomes waste, it is recovered and sent to processing mills. The paper retrieved for recycling is combined with water in a large drum called a hydrapulper. Like a blender, the pulper separates the fiber from the sheets. With the pulp in liquid form, it is sent through screens to draw out particles such as ink, dirt, and metal. Ink is further treated because it is particularly harder to clean from paper than many of the other contaminants (“Paper Making”). The de-inking process which uses an electric field to remove ink specks from white paper, evolved at Georgia Tech. In this operation a direct current field is applied to a reactor that attracts the ink away from the paper and forms a solid-like form (McLeas). From there, the newly cleaned pulp is made into recycled paper.
Paper use continues to be one of the standard yet important material used for communication. The production of paper has evolved from using an ax and human labor to a more efficient and mechanized process. Beginning with the papyrus reeds in Egypt to the bleached pulp of today, the process of paper making is still being innovated as different innovations and paper are produced. While trees are important in paper making, it is not the only component of a paper’s life cycle. The process of producing bleached printing paper begins from the extraction of raw materials to the renewal of the paper product.
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March 13, 2013
The True Cost of Paper (Embodied Energy)
The first time I thought about energy was in this class. I always thought that energy was only the electricity that powers our home. It turns out that there were many type of energy; kinetic, potential, radiant, thermal, and many others. We often overlook the simple things in life that actually takes a lot of energy to make for example a paper. The white piece of paper that we use for printing looks like a thinly sliced piece of fiber. Back in elementary I knew paper was made out of wood but did not know how. I always thought that they just sliced the tree very thinly and cut it into perfect 8.5x11.What I thought to be a simple process is actually a multi-billion dollar business. The paper industry in the United States used approximately 2,361 trillion Btus (TBtu while producing approximately 99.5 million tons of pulp and paper products in 2002 (Jacobs, 12). That is a huge amount of energy that is used just to produce paper. We as humans need to dig deeper to understand the true cost of paper.
The paper making process starts in the forest. Trees have to be cut down to make paper. The method of cutting the tree from the stump is called felling. Chainsaws and different type of machinery are used during this process. One type of machine that is used during the felling process is called the harvester. It has a hand to de-limb the tree at the stump (Logging). Research have suggested that with the cutter bar, thresher and straw chopper turned off it only consumes about 6.6 litre/h but while it is set in motion every increase of speed by 1km/h increase its fuel consumption by 1.3 litre/h (Špokas, and Žebrauskas). For this section using fuel consumption would be the best for measuring how much energy is used.
The next process is the extraction. The extraction is moving the tree from the forest area to a landing or roadside. During the extraction process they use heavy machinery. Some parts of the world still use animals such as horse but they are often very hard to operate. Sometimes helicopter would be used for extraction. One machine that is used during this processed is called the forwarder. It is like a hybrid between a truck and a grapple skidder. It has arms to pick up to room and space for it at the same time (Logging). The fuel consumption of one of these machines is between 8.3 to 15.7 L/PMH (productive machine hours) (Nordfjell, Athanassiadis, and Talbot).
After extraction the next step is processing. The tree must be processed before they are loaded onto the truck. This includes cutting off the branches (delimbing) and cutting the steams into log (bucking). Machines that can be used for this process are chainsaw, delimber, wood chippers and tub-grinder (Logging).
Once the tree has been processed the next process is loading the logs onto a truck. Heavy machinery is used during this process. After the loading is done the trucks take the logs to a sawmill or directly to the paper plant for further processing (Logging).
Problem I had with this section was that it was hard to find the energy/fuel consumptions for most of the machines that are used during the logging process. The statistic can also be different when working in different conditions. Some Factors that can influence the fuel consumptions are terrain, operator skill, and log size (Nordfjell, Athanassiadis, and Talbot). Also I have found much older research but I do not think that they are reliable because better technology comes out every day making the older technology obsolete. Also due to the many different types of machine it was hard to find one exact number.
After the logs get to the paper plant they are refined and made into paper through the use of different types of energy. Paper manufacturing uses three type of energy: direct fuel, electricity and steam. Direct fuel which totals to 132 TBtu, electricity which totals about 393 TBtu and steam which totals about 1,081 TBtu (Jacob 7). TBtu stands for one trillion Btu which approximate to 1.05505585 x 1015 joules. Also trillion Btu = 293 071 070 kilowatt hours. The definition of kilowatt is “a unit of energy equal to the work done by a power of 1000 watts operating for one hour” (Princeton). I do not exactly know how much is 1000 watts but my desktop runs about 700 watts. So I would approximately it as leaving my desktop on for an hour and twenty minute. If u think about it it is crazy how much energy these paper mills use yearly. I assume that these are numbers that are gathers during a process of a whole year.
The wood preparation process is when the wood is chipped from the logs and the barks are chipped. Sometimes the wood come to the plant already chipped. Therefore this step really depends on whether the companies have to machinery to chip their own wood or not. Wood preparation uses 17.8 TBtu of electrical energy and 14.4 TBtu steam energy (Jacobs 44).
Modern mills now have wood rooms build into them which eliminate the need of a sawmill. The wood room is where the wood is processed before cooking. The chips are usually screened at the sawmill but they are re-screened to make sure that chips are not too big. The wood room uses 10kWh/adt of electrical energy for debarking, 15 kWh/adt for chipping and 20kWh/adt for conveying the wood to the storage location (Jacobs 44).
The Kraft process is the most common chemical processes. The Kraft process is when the wood chips are heated in a pressure cooker to about 160-170 Celsius. This will soften them and force out air that are in the wood (Martin, Anglani, Einstein, Khrushch,. Worrel, and Price 10). The solution in the pressure cooker contains NaOH and Na2S (white liquor).The wood and the chemical are mixed into the digester. During this process the lignin (the substances that are in the wood that makes it hard) is removed from the wood. The white liquor that was used is now called black liquor it is washed away (Martin 11). This gives the wood a soft texture. Cooking uses 18.9 TBtu of electrical energy and 130.1 TBtu steam energy yearly. Another research suggests 406 kWh/t of electricity and 4.4 GJ/t of steam (Martin, Anglani, Einstein, Khrushch,. Worrel, and Price 11). The cooking process is one of the main steam consumptions in the pulp mill (Jacobs 45). After it is cooked the wood fibers are then washed to make sure that the chemical and lignin are removed. After the wash the pulp is screened through a sieve to make sure there are no clumps in the fiber (Shives). Screening/cleaning uses 13.1 TBtu of electrical energy (Jacobs 46).
After the woods are cooked it goes through a washing and screening process. In the screening process it removes all the uncooked and knotted fibers. (Jacob 46) After screening the fiber goes into the drum washer.
“Evaporators raise the weak liquor solids generated during washing…” (Jacob 46) The evaporator job is to recover the black liquor which is a byproduct of digesting process. Evaporation uses 8.7 TBtu of electrical energy and 186.0 Tbtu of steam energy
After the black liquor has been recovered a recovery boiler is a boiler that separates the organic material from the inorganic materials in the black liquor. The black liquor is removed from the boiler as smelt and then dissolved in water making green liquor. After refining the green liquor it is used as white liquor (Jacobs 48). They generate 60-80% of the pulp mill’s steam.
For white paper the pulps have to be white so it has to go through a bleaching process. Bleaching process removes of the remaining lignin from the fiber. The lignin makes the pulp dark. Before late 1980, elemental chlorine was used for this process (Martin, Anglani, Einstein, Khrushch,. Worrel, and Price 13). Elemental chlorine such as chlorine and sodium hypochlorite used to be used for the bleaching process but because they emit large amounts of chlorinated organic compounds they have been eliminated. A safer alternative have been use by paper plants. They use non-elemental chlorine such as chlorine dioxide. While chlorine dioxide is not as effective as elemental chlorines a mix of NaOH O2 and peroxide has to be added (Forestry 6). Bleaching uses 15.6 TBtu of electrical energy and 64.8 Tbtu of steam energy
After the bleaching process the pulp is moved to the papermaking process. The first process of paper making is stock preparation. Stock preparation is the process of mixing pulps with additives to form continuous slurry. The paper web is formed (sheet formation). The most common machines use for the process is the fourdrinier machine. The fourdrinier machine is good beacause it spray low consistency pulp which can dry quickly. The researcher estimates that this machine consumes about 274 kWh/t of electricity and 0.7 Gj/t of steam (Martin 16).
When the fiber dries they begin to bond together and make paper. They then move on to the press process. In the press process the paper is press to remove water which helps the paper bond. As it moves through the press section, the paper is held together by felts. Together forming and pressing consumes about 238 kWh/t of electricity.
The paper then proceeds to the drying section, where the steam rollers dry the paper. Mid-way of the process the size press applies coating to the paper. The last process is called the calendar stack. It is a spaced roller that controls the thickness of the paper. The energy consumption in the drying section is 10 GJ/t of steam and 21 kWh/t of electricity. Another research indicates that drying uses 45.0 TBtu of electrical energy and 422.3 TBtu of steam energy also it uses 13.4 TBtu of direct fuel energy. I assume that after the paper is made and package it is distributed around local and far communities.
I think for this part it is really hard to follow because different studies use different measurements. Also the study does not specify some important details. Also the Units were very hard to understand without a proper explanation.
After paper is used most will be landfilled but some will be recycled. Recycled paper are collected and put into warehouses for paper mills. Once the paper gets to the paper mill they have to be re-pulped. It will move through the conveyor that contains water and chemicals. The heat this mixture and soon the recycled paper turn into pulp all over again. The pulp is again going through screening to remove any unnecessary materials (Paper Recycled 2)
The pulp then go through this process called de-inking. In the de-inking process ink is removed and small particles of ink are rinse using water (Paper Recycled 3). The pulp then goes through bleaching all over again. After bleaching it goes through a jet that sprays the paper onto a flat wire screen. As the screen moves the water from the paper dries (Paper Recycled 4). After the paper dries it is coated with a glossy surface. Lastly the paper is rolled up into giant rolls and ready to be transported (Paper Recycled 5). The ink that is left over that still have small amount of fiber left in them are either burned for energy, composted or land filled. (Paper Recycled 6)
The numbers that there companies put up are staggering. After reading many articles about the paper process something are still unclear to me. There are a lot of things that are not in the researches. One example would be the NaOH in the bleaching process. I know that energy was required to make NaOH and I think that is one thing that a lot of studies would not factor in. Where is the NaOH created? This research paper had left me with more questions than answers. I never thought about paper making as such a complicated process. Papers are something we often overlook because it is provided for us so easily. We as humans need to look deeper to really understand the materials that we are using. In understanding these materials we can answer questions such as, Are we using too much? Is there a replacement that is less harmful? Such understanding will provide us with a better future.
"How Is Paper Recycled?" TAPPI - The Leading Technical Association for the Worldwide Pulp, Paper and Converting Industry, 2001. Web. 13 Mar. 2003.
Jacobs. "Pulp and Paper Industry Energy Bandwidth Study." Pulp and Paper Industry Energy Bandwidth Study(Auguest 2006): n. pag. Institute of Paper Science and Technology (IPST) at Georgia Institute of Technology. Web. 6 Mar. 2013.
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Martin, N., N. Anglani, D. Einstein, M. Khrushch, E. Worrel, and L.K. Price. "Opportunities to Improve Energy Efficiency and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the U.S. Pulp and Paper Industry." ERNEST ORLANDO LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY (July 2000): n. pag. Print.
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Waste and Emissions of the Paper-making Cycle
Although in modern times the process of paper-making may seem rather environmentally sustainable and harmless, the truth is that paper production still contributes a [great deal] to the air, water and land pollution in our environment. Studies show that pulp and paper producing factories are the 3rd largest industrial polluters in both the United States and Canada, the 5th largest consumers of energy globally and the number 1 largest industrial users of water-per-ton-of-product worldwide (“Effluents from Pulp Mills using Bleaching – PSL1.”) Because the amount of paper and paper products is so enormous, paper mills also topple the pollution charts- releasing well over 100 million kg of mixed toxic pollution per year (“Effluents from Pulp Mills using Bleaching – PSL1.”) These general statistics may be so daunting that they seem unrealistic, but they become very real and comprehensible once broken down and assessed in greater and more specific detail. By following the paper life cycle and assessing the outputs of waste that come from each major process, we will be able to critically observe exactly what type of pollutants, chemicals and other toxic wastes are being released into our environment and decide what ultimate part a designer can play in the great struggle for sustainability. This paper will aim to cover the many wastes and emissions that stem from the extraction, manufacturing, usage, end life and recovery processes of the paper life cycle as well as briefly assess the measures taken to reduce these pollutants.
Despite the life cycle being a continuous circle, the beginning of a piece of paper's “emission of waste” can be pinpointed to when raw paper materials are first extracted from natural resources. The paper making process begins with the harvesting of wood by landowners from natural forests or plantations (“What Is Sustainability?”) and within this process includes deforestation, transportation of logs, along with wood chipping and debarking. Research shows that general deforestation contributes to 15 to 20 percent of global greenhouse gases (“The Paper Life Cycle,”) and although deforestation does not occur solely for the purpose of producing paper, separate research shows that thirty-five percent of harvested trees go towards paper manufacturing (“Effluents from Pulp Mills using Bleaching – PSL1.”) By linking these two statistics together, we can possibly assume that 35 percent of 20 percent of global greenhouse gases comes from paper manufacturing- exemplifying one of the many contributions to global waste that paper production has on the environment. Wood chipping, on the other hand, contributes to a portion of carbon emissions due to the energy and fuel wood chipper machines require to cut wood into smaller bark pieces. At the same time, however, these wood fragments can also be used as a biomass solid fuel or used as organic mulch for restoration landscapes and gardening (“PAPER:ROCKWELL PRINTING.”)
Though the output of wastes begins early-on in the extraction process of the paper life cycle, the majority of chemical wastes, air pollutants and water usage comes from the manufacturing process of paper. From the wood chipper to the end product of actual paper sheets, there are several ways in which wood can be transformed or crafted into its final form of paper, meaning that there are also several ways in which waste can be released into the environment. Through two main types of wood pulping, chemical and mechanical, an incredible amount of water and air pollution is generated and released into the environment.
Chemical pulping, or mainly Kraft processing, requires the bleaching of fibers and pulp processing of wood through a machine known as the Fourdrinier paper-making machine. Pulping and churning the extracted fibers in this process require large amounts of water and a large water treatment plant to “filter” or purify the water used in pulping. The treatment plant itself emits air pollutants for all the chemicals it uses to treat water, but paper mills without treatment plants leave the byproduct of waste water filled with lignin, alcohols, chlorates and other inorganic transition metal compounds (“What Is Sustainability?”) The intense bleaching process of fibers in this type of paper-making also releases large amounts of chlorinated dioxins -or- highly toxic and carcinogenic pollutants into nearby bodies of water. These Kraft process mills also leave behind the main byproducts of tall oil soap and crude sulfate turpentine- not to mention malodorous air pollutants in the form of various volatile sulfur compounds (“Paper, Printing & The Environment.”)
All the meanwhile, mechanical pulping or groundwood pulping creates weaker, yellower paper that deteriorates after a short period of time. This type of wood pulping uses the energy of steam-heated refiners and two steel discs to compress wood chips into fibers ready to be processed into paper and brightens fibers without the use of bleaching. It may seem as though groundwood pulping is less harmful to the environment than chemical pulping because it excludes bleaching, requires less fiber and yields more lignin, but in reality mechanical or groundwood pulping still has great environmental costs because it requires large amounts of electrical energy to compress wood chips into fibers. The electrical energy and work needed to do this in turn contributes to greater emissions of air pollution.
As a result of the vast requirements and many steps it takes to manufacture paper, a great amount of energy is used and a nearly innumerable amount of waste is imposed on our environment. But the wastes and emissions generated don't stop there, rather they continue as we advance to the next stages in the life cycle of paper; usage and end life. The potential environmental wastes coming from these two stages in particular depend mostly on what the paper is needed for. If the paper product needs to fulfill a certain strength, absorbency or brightness, then the energy consumed and waste generated varies depending on those needs. Paper producers create different ratios or blends of fresh and recycled fibers in a paper product to satisfy those different needs such as strength, absorbency or brightness as mentioned before (The Paper Life Cycle.) If a product requires a greater amount of fresh fibers versus recycled fibers for example, then the particular paper-making mill that produces this type of paper may rely more on purchasing, importing or extracting new wood fibers rather than on reusing recovered fibers. Then as a result of using more fresh fibers, there is a greater amount of deforestation, natural resource extraction, wood chipping, log transportation and CO2 emission because of these extraction processes.
In an attempt to reduce waste and avoid the constant use of fresh fibers, the final paper life cycle stage of “recovery,” acts as the “closing loop” that tries to reduce waste and help deem paper-making sustainable. During recovery, pre-consumer and post-consumer waste is retrieved and reused in paper production in order to make paper-making more renewable seeming and sustainable. These recovered papers are reprocessed in the same manufacturing area as in the beginning but with an extra de-inking stage beforehand. In the de-inking stage of recovery, recycled and recovered paper is literally “de-inked” of it's former writings, adhesives and non-fiber related items- through either the process of washing or flotation (“De-Inking.”) Washing allows the removal of smaller particles but leaves behind ink, clay, filler, plastics and much more meanwhile flotation yields a greater amount of recovered fiber but leaves behind a greater amount of filler and ash. According to research, these recovery is incredibly sustainable because its only byproducts become a sort of harmless solid sludge buried in landfills, re-used for energy at paper mills or re-utilized as fertilizer. But despite the praise and reliance on “recovery” and it's “harmless” byproducts, after thorough research from multiple sites, there seems to be debate and criticism about unaccounted for costs in the recovery process. In my findings it shows that pulping of recycled materials not only uses an equally intense if not greater amount of bleaching chemicals than fresh fibers, but pulping these recycled papers also outputs larger amounts of waste water than initial paper manufacturing due to the fact that its pulping and screening process must be done with two water cycles to effectively rid recovered pulp of adhesives, staples, wires and more (“Paper, Printing & The Environment.”)
Since the pollution statistics of paper mills is so large and well supported, it seems as though the praise for paper recovery is but a distraction from all of the detrimental environmental impacts caused by the pulp and paper industry. While researching about the environmental costs and sustainability of the paper life cycle for example, I noticed that large paper producers often skewed facts in their favor; for example, chemical paper manufacturers would say that mechanical paper had little to no use or that the Kraft process was more “efficient” and “sustainable” because of how they used more recovered wood fibers. Many large corporation websites also focused more on the improved efficiency of their manufacturing machines rather than on where the materials or chemicals they used would end up or go. Some briefly mentioned that an attempt to reduce waste in that particular process was made, but then completely neglected the fact that reduced waste also meant increased energy consumption somewhere else.
Other than coming across biased information, there were plenty more endeavors that I encountered during my research. While scavenging for details of wastes and emissions, I happened upon quite a number of gaps in information. Many, if not most, of the findings on specific chemical wastes and pollutants came from smaller educational websites but a lot of the statistics and chemicals would be mentioned by one provider but not the other. Assumptions had to be drawn especially because of how processes such as deforestation or transportation of goods were so broad and general. For example, there weren't any articles that assessed how much waste or fuel was generated from driving a car full of logs meant for pulping versus a car full of logs for building a home- so I could only link broad statistics with even broader statistics and make educated connections. But to my surprise, making these greater connections triggered the realization that there is still so much information unavailable and unknown to people that will potentially be working with the very materials I am researching. In weaving together the greater picture of paper production I've come to understand that reducing the toxic wastes and pollutants in a life cycle such as this comes from rethinking the purpose of eco-designs.
First off, despite my encounter with biased information and the overrated acclaim for recycled and recovered fibers, there is still validity and environmental benefit in reusing materials and recycling properly. For example, when paper is thrown into a landfill, there is a great environmental cost and retrieval of that paper product is much more difficult and economically expensive than if it had been put in recycle (“The Paper Life Cycle.”) Recycling, as known to most people, is of importance and does prolong the life of certain materials, but it is not a solution to eliminating excess waste. What most people don't understand is that simply putting a material into the recycle process does not at all eliminate the other sorts of chemicals, wastes and pollutants still involved in the overall life cycle of that particular product. Designers should move away from a reductionist point of view and strive to think deeper and more holistically about the products they are making and materials they are using. After researching about how recovered fiber could possibly generate twice the amount of water pollution in exchange of saving a few more trees, I've realized that the focus of eco-sustainable design should be much broader and creative. For example, instead of including a “recycle” logo or watermark on pieces of binder paper, why not redesign the notebook frame in total? Research shows that there is an abundant use of chemical substances and electrical energy for separating wire materials and staples from paper, so why not reduce the use of wire framing in total?
After taking an in-depth and critical look at the complex materials and wastes that come from the life cycle of paper, we can conclude that greater efforts are needed to help lower the statistics of how much pollution is being emitted into the environment from the production of paper. At each and every segment of the paper life cycle is the presence of wastes or emissions, which in turn means at every segment of the paper life cycle there is the possibility to cut and reduce wastes. There is much more we can do to reduce the number of toxic wastes flowing into our ecosystem.
By analyzing and making strong connections between multiple sources of information, we can also see how the more extreme and intimidating the statistics are for pollution, the less willing large manufacturers and distributors are towards admitting involvement. The very fact that significant information requires extensive research to find means that there is lack of awareness in the public eye and a lack of honesty on a corporate level. What this means for designers is that useful, innovative and sustainable design does not simply come from surface research nor does it solely involve the basic and overused “going-green” themes such as product recyclability. Instead, functional and meaningful product or item designs stem from a much more thoughtful and holistic approach; where the focus is in approaching problems deep below the superficial face of environmental issues and bringing them to the public in a presentable and comprehensible way. Based on connections sparked through these research and findings on air, land and water pollution, it has become evident that the ultimate role of the modern designer is to communicate effective solutions to the audience through the medium and function of his or her work.
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