Atlanta and Biofuel
- The P&P Biotech road map
- Biotechnology Contribution and Potential to the
- Pulp and Paper Industry
Introduction: The participants to the workshop included Dr. K.E. Erickson, Dr. L. Viikari, Dr. N. Franks, Dr. M. Paice, Dr. R. Farrell and Dr. E. Malcolm. I wish to thank each of the participants for their support and guidance in moving forward in this project. The author and the participants also wish to thanks Dr. J. Ferris, President of IPST, for his support of this ongoing project.
The pulp and paper industry currently finds itself at a pivot point in its history, amongst the many issues impacting its operations are:
- Environmental regulations;
- Cost of natural resources and access to fresh water;
- Manufacturing costs associated with modern pulping, bleaching, and papermaking technologies;
- Competition with synthetic materials.
Although the answers to these issues may be varied and complex many researchers believe that the application of biotechnology for the production of pulp and paper may be an important component in addressing these challenges. In the spring of 1998 the Institute of Paper Science and Technology (IPST) invited a few leaders in biotechnology research to visit the Institute for two days to begin a dialogue on where future biotechnology opportunities exist in the pulp and paper industry and what fundamental research issues need to be addressed before practical solutions can be designed, tested, and implemented. The results of these discussions are summarized in the following material. These notes are intended to represent only the first steps in drawing up a research vision for the application of biotechnology in pulp and paper industry.
The readers are encouraged to review the following pages describing the future potential for biotechnology in the pulp and paper industry and to add their own comments and opinions to this document. Instructions for responding to this document are presented at the bottom of this page. The results of this public forum we will be condensed and present to the biotechnology committee and other interested parties as a vision for the future.
Pretreatment of chips: local differences in raw material (composition etc) versus micro-organisms; are the selected ones capable of acting at different climatic and other conditions?
- New and more aggressive organisms?
- Identification of the good and bad ones at the paper machine
Other Issues That Will Influence Commercialization of Biotechnology
- Potential negative public attitude towards bio-engineered products either natural or synthetic.
- Need for improved coordination and collaboration between the universities, the pulp and paper support industry, and pulp/paper manufacturers.
- Improved enzyme production capabilities.
- Greater understanding of enzymatic properties under mill operating conditions.
- The needs and interests of the industry have to be further communicated to academic community.
- The general understanding of biotechnology in the pulp and paper industry needs to be improved with new educational tools.