Innovation

Innovative pulping concept

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As part of the sustainability program “Papermaking for Life”, Voith has set the goal of supporting a 90 percent recycling rate by 2030 through new fiber streams and an optimized recycling process. For this purpose the leading full-line supplier is continuously developing its existing product portfolio. In parallel, Voith is working on new, disruptive innovations that completely rethink the current papermaking process. One example is an innovative pulping concept that reduces energy consumption by more than 30 percent compared to conventional systems. In particular it is designed for pulping special raw materials.

As a pilot project

At the German paper manufacturer Papierfabrik Palm, Voith’s highly innovative pulping technology is already in profitable operation as a pilot project. The stock preparation system is designed for a production of 500 tons per day and enables the company to save 1,000 MWh of energy per year. In addition, high accept consistencies are possible, which leads to advantages in the downstream process steps.

Stephan Gruber, Chief Technology Officer at Palm, is impressed by the new solution: «Voith’s innovative stock preparation system has started up very well. Thanks to Voith’s tailor-made concept, expertise and professional support, we were able to achieve and even exceed the performance targets within a very short time. In the area of sustainability, the technology takes a top position and is a good tool to further increase our resource efficiency and achieve our goals».

Voith’s intensive preparatory work with a test prototype has thus paid off. The technical solution behind the optimized recycling process links two pulping technologies. The new pulping concept involves continuous HC pulping in a trough with horizontal pulping shaft and downstream screening section. At Palm, it is installed in a separate line for pulping processing waste and reject rolls and is already in continuous operation. The pulping of standard raw materials with increased dirt loads has already been successfully tested. Here, too, the system has been able to demonstrate its advantages. 

The new concept is a good example of how Voith puts special emphasis on sustainability in all projects and pursues the highest standards. This is confirmed by Wolfgang Mannes, Voith’s Senior Expert R&D Fiber Processes, who was involved in the development of the concept». Our products are leading in the industry and enable the most sustainable paper production» says Mannes. «The new pulping concept demonstrates our high innovative strength. We always go one step ahead so that our customers can produce paper with lowest energy, water and fiber costs. In various load tests at Palm, we had very positive experiences with the pulping result and the robustness of the concept. The specific pulping energy is also more than 30% lower than in conventional dissolution systems – a big step towards improved sustainability».