North America’s First Tree-Free Pulp Mill, Paper360º March/April 2019
It is not a new concept—pulp made from non-wood fiber—and it has been discussed for years, but not until now has it again become a reality in North America. Columbia Pulp (Dayton, WA) is about to start up the first North American greenfield pulp mill in quite some time. The revolutionary aspect is that agricultural waste—wheat straw—will be the furnish.
Company CEO John Begley says that wheat straw was a prevalent fiber source in the US Midwest until the 1960s when environmental regulations made it non-feasible. Speaking at the 2018 RISI North American Forest Products Outlook Conference in San Francisco, Begley noted that non-wood fiber had a poor reputation when it came to pulp: weak characteristics and a “dirty” production process.
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