The demonstration plant at Ngodwana Mill will be used to extract bio-chemicals and hemicellulose from its existing dissolving wood pulp line to produce glycols.
April 6, 2017
South Africa’s pulp and paper producer Sappi is hoping to generate new revenue from extracting sugars from wood pulp as it races to make up for its paper business lost to the internet. The firm, along with Finland’s Valmet, launched a trial sugar extraction plant at its Ngodwana Mill in Mpumalanga province in response to the growing global demand for renewable materials with a lower carbon footprint.
The demonstration plant will be used to extract bio-chemicals and hemicellulose from its existing dissolving wood pulp line to produce glycols, which are used as raw materials for drinking bottles or to de-ice airplane wings. Other markets include converting the sugars into health products such as Xylitol. The plant is a precursor for Sappi to consider the construction of commercial plants at its dissolving wood pulp mills in Ngodwana and Cloquet in the United States.