Analysing different technology pathways for the pulp and paper industry in a European energy systems perspective
Doctoral thesis, 2011
For the pulp and paper industry (PPI), earlier research has shown that there are many technology pathways, proven and new, available for improvement of energy efficiency and additional sales of (new) products. Some pathways can only be implemented in kraft mills, e.g. black liquor gasification (BLG), but some can be implemented industry-wide, e.g. carbon capture and storage (CCS). From a future perspective it is not clear which pathway is the most profitable one or which pathway gives the lowest emissions of CO2 due to uncertainties in both the future value of different products and the future development of energy infrastructure. This can lead to decision anxiety, both for the PPI regarding the choice of pathways and for decision-makers creating new policy schemes.
The overall aim of this thesis is to analyse six technology pathways for the European PPI: increased electricity production, export of bark, extraction of lignin, CCS, BLG and export of heat for district heating purposes. To elucidate the potential for, and effects of, implementation of these pathways, three themes of research questions are addressed:
1. General integration opportunities in different types of existing mills.
2. Economic performance and global CO2 emissions assuming different future developments of the European energy market.
3. Factors influencing the potential for industry-wide implementation.
The results show that for kraft pulp mills, proven pathways, such as increased electricity production and district heat production, are economically robust, i.e. they are profitable for varying energy market conditions. The new and emerging technology pathways studied, CCS, BLG and lignin extraction, hold a larger potential for reduction of global CO2 emissions, but their economic performance is more dependent on the development of the energy market. Further, the thesis shows how earlier, detailed research can be lifted to a higher system level in order to be put in context and to answer research questions on a more aggregated industry level. The thesis also shows that improving the availability (and accuracy) of public data and statistics is a key factor if good industry level analyses are to be performed.
pulp and paper industry
energy market scenarios
kraft pulp mill
global CO2 emission