Systems Analysis of Different Technology Pathways for the Pulp and Paper Industry: A Synthesis
Journal article, 2011
For the pulp and paper industry (PPI), earlier research has shown that there are many technology pathways, both proven and new, available for improvement of energy efficiency and additional sales of (new) products. Some pathways can be implemented only 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 or which offers the lowest CO2 emissions 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. This paper presents a synthesis of the authors' research work which aims to analyze selected future technology pathways for the European PPI, focusing on Kraft pulp mills. The analysis uses a European energy systems perspective and examines the potential for implementation on both mill and industry levels. For the Kraft pulp industry, this work gives new insights into the question of economic performance and the potential for reduction of overall CO2 emissions for different technology pathways, assuming various developments in the future energy market. The work also provides new methodological insights and shows how earlier, detailed research can be lifted to a higher system level to be put in context and to answer research questions on a more aggregated industry level.