NER's technology addresses an attractive opportunity in the paper industry.
Global demand for paper products is rising while raw materials are becoming more limited. To cope with the forecast additional 50 million tonnes of paper pulp needed by 2020, it is necessary to increase the use of non-wood fibres. Wheat straw, available in large quantities, is a good hardwood substitute.
Despite several research programmes, industry doesn't have an environmental and economic process for small or medium-scale production of paper from straw.
Using 25 years' experience, NER can now offer this process. It has developed a new low carbon process that is environmentally-friendly and economic even in small-scale production. This patent pending technology uses straw waste even with high moisture content, consumes half of the energy of existing processes, and produces paper pulp as a competitive alternative to hardwood pulp.
NER now plans to construct a real scale demonstrator plant ahead of licensing know-how and developing straw pulp production plants on a turnkey basis globally.
The market is driven by a growing demand for alternative fibres to wood and sustainability. Developing this process would reduce the global carbon footprint of this industry and secure a more sustainable paper pulp.