Wednesday, 25 September 2013 11:30

Pulp industry energy research gets $2.7M in funding

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The University of British Columbia’s Pulp and Paper Centre (PPC) has received $2.7 million to reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions of one of B.C.’s largest industries by 50 per cent before 2020.

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The grant, funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and a consortium of 16 mechanical pulp companies, invests in the expertise and infrastructure of UBC’s PPC and in new approaches to innovations developed by researchers from the Universities of British Columbia, Victoria, and Toronto. The goal is to realize energy savings of more than 1000 GWh/y, roughly enough to power 100,000 homes.

“The pulp sector is of strategic importance to the province and the economic prosperity of our rural communities,” says Professor James Olson, director of the centre. “We are committed to improving the energy efficiency of this renewable and sustainable industry.”

The award will be used to equip the centre with the latest equipment, as well as to attract and support the best graduate students to work with professors and senior researchers on these projects. More than nine inter-related projects will develop new processes with novel sensors and advanced computer control to significantly reduce the energy consumed in the current process in B.C. mills.

“We are committed to sustainably producing pulp products and investigating ways to improve our environmental performance while making our pulp and paper business more competitive,” says Peter Rippon, vice-president, Pulp and Energy at West Fraser, a partner involved in the collaboration.

The mechanical pulp industry is the largest industrial consumer of electricity in British Columbia, consuming approximately eight per cent of BC Hydro’s electricity generation.

“This project is well-aligned with BC Hydro’s long term goals, including conservation, customer satisfaction and innovation,” said Steve Hobson, director for Power Smart.

Additional Info

The Pulp and Paper Centre houses collaborative post-graduate research and education programs of theThe University of British Columbia (UBC).  The research program consists of graduate student research supervised by FP Innovations and UBC faculty holding cross-appointments with each organization. Graduate students are assigned office and laboratory space in the Centre. MSc, MASc and PhD degrees are offered through 6 departments of the University of British Columbia. These include the Departments of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Metals and Materials Engineering, and Chemistry. We also Have faculty associates in faculties of Forestry, Science and School of Architecture.

The research has a strong focus on engineering,with research supervisors drawn from 5 engineering departments. Areas of emphasis include: (1) Bio-materials production, (2) Bio-fuel and energy, (3) Product development and (4) Sustainable fibre production.


Anna Jamroz
Communications Coordinator, Pulp and Paper Centre
Tel: 604.827.2117

James Olson
Director, Pulp and Paper Centre
Tel: 604.822.5705

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