Södra, Sweden: New Pulp by Combining Softwood and Agricultural Residue - Papermart

Södra, Sweden: New Pulp by Combining Softwood and Agricultural Residue

Södra, Sweden, is investigating the possibility of a new pulp by combining its softwood harvest with agricultural residues. The group aims at developing a new product, which is resource-efficient, sustainable, and performance-enhancer.

May 23, 2023

sodra sweden

Södra, Sweden, is investigating the possibilities for a ground-breaking new pulp that will combine wood from Södra’s sustainably managed forests in southern Sweden with agricultural residue from sources close to its pulp mills. Sodra’s latest innovation combines agricultural residues with softwood pulp to produce a new product that is resource-efficient, sustainable, and performance-enhancing for papermakers.

Södra has been investigating the use of agricultural residues as a strength-enhancing ingredient in pulp for some time, and following extensive research and development, the company now has the expertise and technology to use agricultural residues to create an agro-enhanced softwood pulp with significant tensile-strength enhancing properties, especially in the lower refining range.

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Ms.  Lotta Lyrå, CEO of Södra, stated, “This process has the potential to deliver advantages for customers, our members, and the environment by challenging the status quo. It encapsulates our circular perspective, our desire to cooperate throughout the value chain for more sustainable solutions, and the idea that we can pass the best of forest innovation from one family to another, from our members’ forests to the consumer.“

The group has taken into account the perspective of circular economy as well while developing the new pulp and has decided to not compete for agricultural residues that are being used for animal feed. It aims to create a new purpose for residue before incineration adds value and circularity for its members, suppliers, customers, and end consumers.

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Ms. Catrin Gustavsson, Executive Vice President of Södra Innovation, says, “It is important to note that the agricultural residues would not replace the wood from our members’ forests but act as a premium ingredient to produce a high-performing grade of pulp. For paper customers, a small percentage of the agricultural residues in the agro-enhanced softwood pulp will bring significant tensile strength to final sheet properties.”

Södra has a reputation for sustainable innovation in the pulp industry, from driving the introduction of totally-chlorine free (TCF) bleaching in the 1990s to its recent ground-breaking new textile pulp giving new life to post-consumer textile, OnceMore®, and the world’s first pulpable bale strap, FiberSafe®.