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Pulp & Paper Production: Wastewater Treatment Rooted in Sustainability

Despite the rise of technology and electronic devices, paper products still play a prominent role in our everyday lives—everything from paper towels, toilet paper, and napkins to books, magazines, and newspapers to cardboard boxes, wrapping paper and copier paper. In fact, the world consumes approximately 300 million tons of paper each year*.

Protecting Limited Natural Resources

Pulp and paper manufacturing is resource-intensive, and consumes large amounts of energy, water, and trees. Thankfully, there is a trend towards sustainability in the industry. Paper has one of the highest recycling rates among materials, but progressive pulp and paper mills understand that responsible resource management extends beyond post-consumer recycling and logging practices. Water is a limited natural resource, so efforts must also be made to carefully conserve and protect it.

Addressing Critical Wastewater Challenges

Pulping (Kraft, TMP, CTMP, NSSC, etc.), bleaching, and paper-making processes generate a complex wastewater stream with variable characteristics and strength, which can include difficult-to-treat chemicals such as chlorine. This makes it challenging to comply with strict discharge limits.

Biological wastewater treatment has proven to be a reliable way to minimize pollution from pulp and paper mills. In particular, anaerobic digestion technologies can lower energy and nutrient usage while generating less sludge and producing valuable biogas. This can be used as a renewable energy source, further lowering costs.

A great example of a pulp mill using anaerobic digestion is Slave Lake Pulp, a subsidiary of West Fraser Mills Ltd. The mill’s choice to treat wastewater on-site in an ADI-BVF® reactor has greatly reduced costs associated with chemicals, sludge disposal, and electricity.

Slave Lake Pulp.jpg

Regardless of whether your mill uses chemical, thermomechanical, or chemi-thermomechanical processes, the right wastewater treatment system can help you save money and the environment.

Learn how to responsibly treat pulp and paper mill effluent at your facility.

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*Source: http://www.ecology.com/2011/09/10/paper-chase/