The paper and cardboard industry is one of the largest players in the biorefinery chain. Both fibres and process chemicals can be produced from biomass. In close cooperation with the paper and cardboard industry Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is developing new sustainable processes to facilitate this.
High-quality raw materials such as hemp, straw and residual materials can be used in the development of new process chemicals and new raw materials for paper and cardboard products. In addition to studying raw materials, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is also looking into opportunities for optimising the paper process. We develop biobased inks, adhesives and starch alternatives, and have extensive experience in pulping raw materials and testing products for their applicability in the paper industry. Our broad experience and testing facilities ensure a proper link between raw materials, processing and end products.
Research into new raw materials
Within our research facilities we work on the application of new raw materials in existing products, such as hemp as a replacement for cotton in paper, tomato leaves and stems in tomato packaging, and grass as a basis for cardboard. We optimise pulping methods for new raw materials and know how to create value from side streams that remain as residue, such as lignin, hemicelluloses or Organosolv pulps. We also study opportunities for smaller side streams from biorefinery concepts for the paper industry, such as the biorefinery of sugar beets and algae. Additionally, research is carried out into fibrous raw materials for paper production, fibre modification and processing, and increasing the product quality of paper and cardboard.
Saving energy and raw materials
Our expertise contributes to energy and raw material savings in the paper and cardboard industry; an important issue as increased efficiency is vital if companies are to maintain their international competitive position. Further savings can be realised via the development and application of knowledge of the requirements for paper and cardboard further down the production chain. This can improve the recyclability of paper and cardboard.
Facilities and cooperation
Wageningen Food & Biobased Research works intensively and regularly with suppliers and buyers throughout the process chain. We have a large number of research facilities specifically aimed at the field of paper and cardboard. We offer both mechanical (extruders and refiners) and chemical (kraft, soda, Organosolv) pulp processes on a laboratory scale (1-50 kg). Based on our many years of experience in these processes and in testing the fibres and process chemicals in paper, we can achieve rapidly applicable results.