Can carbon capture be a new revenue opportunity for the pulp and paper sector?, TAPPI Journal August 2021

Application: This study gives fresh understanding on the potential for investing in negative emission technologies and green fuel production in the pulp and paper industry; thus, the results may be interesting to industrial operators and policymakers.

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Author: Katja Kuparinen, Satu Lipiätja and Esa Vakkilainen
Can carbon capture be a new revenue opportunity for the pulp
ABSTRACT: Transition towards carbon neutrality will require application of negative carbon emission technologies (NETs). This creates a new opportunity for the industry in the near future. The pulp and paper industry already utilizes vast amounts of biomass and produces large amounts of biogenic carbon dioxide. The industry is well poised for the use of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), which is considered as one of the key NETs. If the captured carbon dioxide can be used to manufacture green fuels to replace fossil ones, then this will generate a huge additional market where pulp and paper mills are on the front line. The objective of this study is to evaluate future trends and policies affecting the pulp and paper industry and to describe how a carbon neutral or carbon negative pulp and paper production process can be viable. Such policies include, as examples, price of carbon dioxide allowances or support for green fuel production and BECCS implementation. It is known that profitability differs depending on mill type, performance, energy efficiency, or carbon dioxide intensity. The results give fresh understanding on the potential for investing in negative emission technologies. Carbon capture or green fuel production can be economical with an emission trade system, depending on electricity price, green fuel price, negative emission credit, and a mill’s emission profile. However, feasibility does not seem to evidently correlate with the performance, technical age, or the measured efficiency of the mill.

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