Pulp and Paper Industry Essays and Papers

This essay has a total of 3330 words and 19 pages.

Pulp and Paper Industry

Intro duction
The uses and applications of paper and paper products are virtually limitless. In
addition to the societal needs of paper for recording and disseminating of information,
and for packaging materials, the United States pulp and paper industry employs more than
200,000 people, produces nine million tons of pulp, and 26 billion newspapers, books and
magazines annually. Though U.S. mills represent only 15% of paper mills worldwide, they
produce 36% of the world’s paper (Smook, 1992). “Exports of pulp and paper
products are increasingly important to the economic health of the industry. In 1992,
exports amounted to $10.1 billion” (EPA/310-R-95-015, 1995).

The traditional wood pulp method of producing paper requires the cutting of vast numbers
of trees, high water and fossil fuel usage, and the release of a number of toxic chemicals
into the air and water. In response to government environmental regulations, increased
paper product demand, and the need to remain competitive in existing markets, new
technologies and methodologies are being adopted (Smook, 1992). The objective of this
paper is to discuss the impact that current methods of paper production have on the
environment, and the advances in developing new technologies and alternative products that
are being used to mitigate impacts.

Environmen tal Impact of Timber Procurement
An important issue in the analysis of the industry is deforestation. Forests help
maintain conditions such as global climate, and store carbon released into the atmosphere
from fossil fuel burning. Without benefit of the forest, these carbons will go into the
atmosphere as carbon dioxide (Bryant etal, 1997). Forty years ago, the paper industry
began to acknowledge the environmental impact of deforestation (Montavalli, 1998). People
in the industry acknowledged at that time that deforestation had many economic and
environmental effects. These included global warming, the loss of wildlife, the reduction
in water quality, and the decrease of natural fish species in these water sources
(Rosmarin, 1997).

Clear-cuttin g
Clear-cutting has been a popular method used by the logging industry over the years for
mass collection of timber needed for paper production. The logging industry once believed
that the benefits of clear-cutting to wildlife were through the creation of abundant
browse (grass) which is then consumed by rabbits, deer and moose. However, clear-cutting
removes dead, fallen trees, a major source of energy for a wide variety of species, and
thereby disturbing the overall balance and vitality of entire ecosystems (Lansky, 1992).
Clear-cutting also exposes soil, making it susceptible to washout and a potential
contaminant of surface water. Trees at the edge of the cut are subsequently vulnerable to
being blown down and scalded by the sun (Zuckerman, 1991). Likewise, the forest that
grows back will be much more simplified and is often dominated by a single type of tree
and disturbance-adapted vegetation, again impacting diversity (Lansky, 1992). It is
important to remember that: “A “managed” ; forest grown and regrown on
clear-cut land is not a natural forest. For as long as it is managed it will never be
given time to regenerate its original biodiversity” (Gallant, 1991).

Selective Cutting
In an effort to alleviate the environmental consequences of clear-cutting, the paper
production industry is making an effort to replenish the hardwood supply they remove. A
current example of this effort is through the process of selection. Recent studies have
acknowledged that the advantages to this are in the continued productivity of the forest.
An even-aged stand is more efficient to space, light and nutrients than an area
consisting of one or two species. Trees that are not diverse compete with each other
because they have the same needs. However, in selection, trees of all ages fill spaces in
the understory where it would otherwise be empty after clear-cutting. In selection, trees
are continually growing and maturing and there is no lag between harvest and regeneration
because young trees continue to grow in the understory. Over the course of many cutting
rotations, this should create greater productivity of our forests (Lansky, 1992).

Foresters have begun efforts to replant seedlings to replace what is being depleted from
our environment. With each tree that is destroyed to produce paper, another seedling must
be planted in order to maintain the environmental balance in that particular area (Bonner
and Triton, 1997). In a recent study of forest replanting, the industry noted that
recently harvested areas have been regenerated by 100%. Plantations are forests of tree
crops developed by the industry under greenhouse conditions for the purpose of paper
production (Lansky, 1992). The International Institute for Environment and Development
(IIED) supports the trend towards more plantations, as long as they are properly managed.
“We find that plantations are an efficient way to produce wood fibre and they are
essential to meet future demand for paper…In the short term, plantations can
contribute to local and national economies and take pressure off natural forests.”
Approximately 30% of paper comes from plantations, with another 40 percent derived from
managed natural regeneration forests (Figure 1) (Knight, 1996). International Paper
Company itself employs more than 400 foresters who “strive to balance the
public’s need for forest-based products with stewardship of the trees, streams,
wetlands, soils, plants, and animals that compose the forest environment on our
lands.” They note that, “the fact that we have owned some forests for nearly
100 years and they remain healthy and productive is a testament to the care generations of
foresters have given the land” (Brown etal, 1998). However, spawned by the
influence of media we only see the negative effects, not the positive efforts. With
social emphasis on recycling or planting trees, an environmental scientist notes that,
“it is difficult to see that tree saving efforts are taking place each day”
(Bonner and Triton, 1997).

Alternative Pulp Products
Another avenue that can improve the deforestation situation, is the current development of
alternate pulping products. Paper companies are spending significant resources to
experiment with new viable resources to decrease deforestation. Currently,
“recycling is revolutionizing the paper industry” (Young and Rufus, 1997).
“The American Forest and Paper Association (AFPA) estimates that the United States
recycled 40.5 percent of the paper it used in 1997, and has set a goal of recycling or
reusing half of all U.S. paper production by the year 2000” (Young and Rufus, 1997).
Recovered paper consumption is growing more than twice as fast as total fiber
consumption, and mills are scrambling for used paper and supplies” (Smith, 1994).
Various plants are spending millions of dollars to convert their processing from wood
fiber into this new recycled paper pulp. A plant operations manager in Ohio states
“Recycling has caught on like a wildfire, I am excited the society is as concerned
about their natural trees and resources, it is our obligation as merchandisers of paper to
accommodate your (public) awareness and participation.” ; (Davidson, 1998).

Other papermaking products are being investigated each day. Kenaf is a plant that grows
rapidly, reaching maturity in just 5 months. “By contrast southern plantation pines
take 20 – 25 years to reach harvest stage” (Mardon, 1997). Kenaf is naturally
resistant to most pests and diseases. “Kenaf also crowds out weeds, limiting the
need for herbicide applications” (Mardon, 1997). What’s more is that the
kenaf paper making process involves less chemicals. Because kenaf is whiter than wood,
and has a lower lignin content, it requires fewer chemicals and less energy to pulp and
make white. Kenaf paper is environmentally positive: pollutant free, chlorine free and
acid free (Petay, 1997).

Another alternative product under investigation by the paper industry is the Hemp plant.
“Hemp typically produces around 3 – 8 tons of dry fiber per acre annually,
more than twice that of a southern pine” (Petay, 1997). Hemp is made up of two
different types of fibers long and short, which correlate to, and can replace softwoods
and hardwoods respectively. Hemp offers a variety of environmental advantages. Hemp
grows rapidly and germinates in early spring. As with kenaf, it out competes most weed
species, reducing, and more often eliminating the need for herbicides, and pesticides
(Petay, 1997). Additionally, hemp’s lignin content is much lower than timber.
“Lower lignin translates into fewer chemicals and less energy required during the
pulping process” (Mardon, 1997).

Each of the above alternative products will require more technology and experimentation in
order to make them a truly viable paper making resource. “The greatest barrier to
hemp paper production in the United States today is the ban on cultivation” (Petay,
1997). What stands in the way of kenaf paper production is resistance to change due to
the technological expense in converting timber based manufacturing processes. Despite the
challenges, several companies are using kenaf. “Such ground breaking efforts are
but the beginning of a movement to spare our forest and clean up the pollution caused by
the wood based paper industry” (Smith, 1994). “Kenaf and other non wood fiber
alternatives offer viable, innovative opportunities for shifting from an outdated,
destructive mode of production to one that’s appropriate for the 21st century
(Mardon, 1997).

Joint Environmental Research
The National Audubon Society and International Paper Company are collaborating with
various academia, government and environmental groups on a three-year study of the effects
of the paper industry on wildlife. The study will help researchers identify the habitat
requirements of birds, reptiles, and amphibians in 30,000 acres of industrial forests
managed by International Paper Company in South Carolina. As part of the study, the
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and Clemson University are focusing on how the
forest-management practices affect the habitat and diversity of amphibians and reptiles.
Other participants include the National Council of the Paper Industry for Air and Stream
Improvement, the U.S. Forest Service Center for Forested Wetlands, and the National Fish
and Wildlife Foundation. “The U.S. Forest Service is developing a
global-information-s ystem-based tool that combines research from this and other studies
into one database to assist forest managers around the country” (National Audubon
Society, 1997).

Pulp and Paper Production
Pulping is the process of converting timber into a substance that can be used for paper
manufacturing. “The production of pulp is the major source of environmental impacts
in the pulp and paper industry” (EPA/310-R-95-015, 1995). The basic steps in the
pulping process and the byproducts produced are discussed below:

Lumber is debarked and chipped. This wet form of debarking is water intensive, dry
debarking uses larger amounts of energy. The residual solid waste must be disposed of,
and the water used decontaminated (Smook, 1992).

Wood fibers, called cellulose, are separated from the lignin (the glue like substances
that keeps the tree together), to break down the wood. Chemical pulping, which is used in
84% of U.S. production plants, combines chemicals and heat to break down the lignin. This
process emits a number of hazardous air pollutants including: particulate, sulfur oxides,
nitrogen oxides (Smook, 1992), formaldehyde, methanol, acetaldehyde, and methyl ethyl
ketone (EPA-821-F-97-011, 1997). Mechanical pulping uses physical force to grind down and
separate the fiber. It is used in approximately 10% of wood pulp production, and requires
a high amount of energy (Smook, 1992).

Pulp bleaching is performed in approximately 50% of pulp produced in the U.S.
“Bleached pulps create papers that are whiter, brighter, softer and more
absorbent”. “The most common chemicals used in the bleaching process are
sodium hydroxide, elemental chlorine, and chlorine dioxide” (EPA/310-R-95-015,
1995). This process introduces chloroform, dioxins and furans into the wastewater
(EPA-821-F-97-011, 1997).

“The pulp and paper industry is the largest industrial process water user in the
U.S. In 1988, a typical pulp and paper mill used 16,000 to 17,000 gallons per ton of
paper produced” (EPA/310-R-95-015, 1995).

Governmental Regulation on the Pulp and Paper Industry
Since establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970, the pulp and
paper industry has been subject to Federal water and air pollution guidelines (Smook,
1992). Failure to comply results in significant fines, however in some instances, fines
have been reduced in exchange for implementing pollution reduction processes
(EPA/310-R-95-015, 1995). “Pulp and paper mills have made significant investments
in pollution control technologies and processes. According to industry sources, the pulp
and paper industry spent more than $1 billion per year from 1991 – 1994 on
environmental capital expenditures” (EPA/310-R-95-015, 1995). The EPA is in the
process of implementing a new “cluster rule”. The goal is to “cut toxic
air pollutant emissions by almost 60 percent from current levels, and virtually eliminate
all dioxin discharged from pulp, paper, and paperboard mills into rivers and other surface
waters” (EPA-821-F-97-010, 1997). The EPA estimates that the pulp and paper
industry will need to invest approximately $1.8 billion in capital expenditures, and $277
million per year in operating expenditures to comply with the cluster ruling
(EPA-821-F97-010, 1997).
Continues for 10 more pages >>

  • European History 622 Justinian
    European History 622 Justinian 1. Justinians court was much like the Easterns rule; the subjects were spaced from the rulers in space, dress and obedience. The laws were in Latin, even though the common language was Greek. 2. 622- Heraclius opened a successful attack on the Persians. 628- At Ctesiphon a peace treat was signed in favor of Heraclius 632- Muhammads followers conquered and ran the Empire. 717-718- Leo III beat back Muslim attack on Constantinople. 3. Iconoclastic policy u
  • Scotland
    Scotland The Land Scotland is part of the United Kingdom on the British Isles. It makes up one-third, or 32% of the island. It is bordered on the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean, while the North Sea is to the east of the country. England makes up the southeastern border. The Irish Sea is directly south of Scotland. The total area of the country is a little more than 30,400 square miles. Scotland has a positive-relative location, and is a developed country. There are over 800 islands that ar
  • Origami
    origami Origami (pronounced or-i-GA-me) is the Japanese art of paperfolding. "Ori" is the Japanese word for folding and "kami" is the Japanese word for paper. That is how origami got its name. However, origami did not start in Japan. It began in China in the first or second century and then spread to Japan sometime during the sixth century. At first, there was very little paper available so only the rich could afford to do paperfolding. The Japanese found useful purposes for their origami. For e
  • Pulp and Paper Industry
    Pulp and Paper Industry Introduction The uses and applications of paper and paper products are virtually limitless. In addition to the societal needs of paper for recording and disseminating of information, and for packaging materials, the United States pulp and paper industry employs more than 200,000 people, produces nine million tons of pulp, and 26 billion newspapers, books and magazines annually. Though U.S. mills represent only 15% of paper mills worldwide, they produce 36% of the worlds
  • The Renaissance
    The Renaissance World Societies The Renaissance was one of the most creative times in world, cultural, political, economic, and social history. Overall the Renaissance contributed a demand for learning and information in a time of darkness and ignorance. The humanists alone helped to encourage learning by spreading their values and beliefs throughout Europe. The Humanists believed that the cultivation of the mind and the encouragement of learning would mean a greater sense of self-worth and a mo
  • The Renaissance1
    The Renaissance1 World Societies The Renaissance was one of the most creative times in world, cultural, political, economic, and social history. Overall the Renaissance contributed a demand for learning and information in a time of darkness and ignorance. The humanists alone helped to encourage learning by spreading their values and beliefs throughout Europe. The Humanists believed that the cultivation of the mind and the encouragement of learning would mean a greater sense of self-worth and a m
  • History of the printing press
    History of the printing press In the early 1450\'s rapid cultural change in Europe fueled a growing need for the rapid and cheap production of written documents. Johannes Gutenberg, a goldsmith and businessman from the mining town of Mainz in southern Germany, borrowed money to develop a technology that could address this serious economic bottleneck. Gutenberg foresaw enormous profit-making potential for a printing press that used movable metal type. Gutenberg developed his press by combining fe
  • Commercial papermaking
    commercial papermakin g Paper in 20th-century civilization, is one of our most important industrial products. Books, magazines, and newspapers are printed on paper. Data from computers are usually printed on paper. Education, government and industry could not operate without printing and writing on paper. Paperboard (used in packaging), and absorbent papers (tissue and towelling) are other widely used paper products. Paper is made from cellulose fibbers, which are found in all plant cell walls.
  • Paper
    paper Paper and Papermakin g Raw materials for paper Basic process of papermakin g Birth of papermakin g Papermakin g in Europe The main material for paper in the European countries was cotton and linen fiber from rags. It was washed, bleached, and soaked in an alkali solution before pulping. The basic process for papermakin g was dipping a mold of wire into a vat of stock and lifting it out. Once that was finished it was removed and placed on wooden cloth for pressing. Sometimes one stack 2 feet hi
  • Legalization of Marijuanafor medical uses and Hemp
    Legalization of Marijuanafor medical uses and Hemp Marijuana, dope, weed, pot, these are all names for a drug that has many medical uses, but it not currently legal in the United States. Marijuana is still used extensively for medical purposes, even though it is illegal. Marijuana, when smoked, produces a chemical substance known as THC, or tetra-hydro-cannabin ol. It is often used as a recreational drug, which is used to heighten perception, and relax the mind and body. In medical use, it is a
  • Scrapbooking
    Scrapbooking As I sit on my bed, with nothing to do, my mind is suddenly filled. What can I do with all my JUNK? I search in old dusty boxes, underneath my bed, in my closet and take a look at old picture frames, memories that have been sitting aside for years. What can I do to make it all come together? As I think, look around, and think again, I say quietly to myself, "Why don\'t I create a scrapbook?" Scrapbooking is a great way to preserve memories and pass them down in a creative and unique
  • Chinese art
    Chinese art Chinese Art The Chinese culture is a very interesting topic to learn about. They have many beliefs, customs and traditions that make them unique. Art was very important to the Chinese culture. It was a way to express or symbolize emotions. The Chinese display many different styles as well as techniques to express who they truly are and believe. Art began in China in stone structures. Large carvings were carried out by families rather than one particular person. Throughout the years,
  • Hemp: A Help Or A Hindrance?
    Hemp: A Help Or A Hindrance? Hemp: A Help or a Hindrance? Hemp, also known as Cannabis sativa, marijuana, grass, and by many other names, has not been a legal commercial crop in the United States for almost sixty years. As common two centuries ago as cotton is today, hemp is not seen on the market. As many groups fight for hemp to become legalized as a drug, many people are battling for the plant to become legalized for its industrial and medical uses. From Disney Indiana Jones hats to fuel for
  • Paper Making
    Paper Making I once saw a futuristic movie about a little girl who finds a book, "a real book," she gasps, "made out of paper." In the future world of this movie, all books had been confiscated from homes and libraries and were converted into electronic files. The books could still be read, but not held. To me, this was more of a horror movie than science fiction! Part of my love of books comes from feeling the paper and hearing the rustle of the pages as they are turned. With the increasing use
  • Paper
    paper Paper has a long history, beginning with the ancient Egyptians and continuing to the present day. For thousands of years, hand-made methods dominated and then, during the 19th century, paper production became industrialised. Originally intended purely for writing and printing purposes, a wide variety of paper grades and uses are now available to the consumer Of all the writing and drawing materials that people have employed down the ages, paper is the most widely used around the world. Its
  • Ancient China Essay
    Ancient China Essay One of the most important inventions of all time was the invention of gunpowder. "Imagine their enemy\'s surprise when the Chinese first demonstrated their newest invention in the eighth century AD. Chinese scientists discovered that an explosive mixture could be produced by combining sulfur, charcoal, and saltpeter (potassium nitrate). The military applications were clear. New weapons were rapidly developed, including rockets and others that were launched from a bamboo tube"
  • History of Paper
    History of Paper The first historical mention of paper is 104 A.D. in China. The Empress of China at that time loved books and wanted to have a lot of them made. At the time everything was written on silk scrolls which were extremely expensive and time consuming to make. She wanted something cheaper and easier to use and so she asked one of her servants, a gentleman by the name of Tsi Lun to come up with an alternative. He worked for over nine years experimenting with different things and finall