Swedish Research Firm Develops New Papermaking Technique

Sept. 9, 2010 - The Swedish research institute Innventia said that it has developed a new method of papermaking that will result in a stronger paper with lower production costs and reduced raw materials consumption.

The new technique called “Aq-Vane” is derived from the aircraft industry, Inventia said, and it deals with the separation of fiber layers before they are joined together to form the paper.

     Daniel Soderberg

“For a paper mill that produces 450,000 tonnes of the new paper per year, this technology means an annual savings of approximately 120 million Swedish kronor,” said Daniel Soderberg, Research Manager and initiator at Innventia and the person behind the previous work.

“This technique uses a thin layer of water to stabilize the fiber layers and consequently form an even flow while they are being joined together. This prevents the layers from blending with each other. This means that it is now possible to keep the layers separate as well as to control the precise properties that are wanted in a paper,” said Soderberg.

For the papermaking industry as a whole, this implies a savings in billions of kronor, Inventia said.

“We've tailor-made a new kind of uncoated paper, which is the same type as that used in the IKEA catalogues. By putting finer fibers in the surface and coarse fibers in the middle of the paper we're able to save up to 10% in costs on fiber raw materials and energy,” Soderberg explained.

European Collaborative Project
As of June 2010, Innventia is leading BoostEff, an EU project with a total budget of 11 million Euro, to demonstrate the industrial and economical potential of the method.

Using Aq-vane, with its possibilities for advanced dosage, Innventia, in collaboration with Stora Enso, is developing the kind of paper that is used in catalogues and magazines.

“This project also signifies a completely new way of working,” Soderberg said. “The starting point in the project is three existing industrial production units, one of which belongs to Stora Enso. Using these, the possibilities of the new technique, together with existing techniques, are being adapted to demonstrate the potential product and the production process involved.

“The results from the project are going to be used as a basis for three investment projects involving technical specifications and economical results,” Soderberg added.

”The Aq-vane technique has the potential to generate increased profits based on the form of savings in the fiber raw materials and energy.

“Within BoostEff, several companies and institutes from around Europe are collaborating with us at Innventia,” Soderberg noted.

“When the project comes to an end in 2013, the technology will also be available to the rest of the industry giving the opportunity of an increased profitability and, most of all, an improved paper,” he concluded.

SOURCE: Inventia