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Södra Explores Combining Agricultural Residue with Wood for New Grade of Pulp

Södra pulp

May 23, 2023 - Södra is exploring the possibilities for a 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.

Södra said it has been studying the use of agricultural residues as a strength-enhancing ingredient in pulp for some time. Following extensive research and development, Södra 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.

"This process has the potential to deliver advantages for customers, our members and the environment by challenging the status quo," said Lotta Lyrå, CEO of Södra. "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."

Södra noted that some agricultural residues are currently used for animal feed, and it will not compete for this proportion.

Catrin Gustavsson, Executive Vice President Södra Innovation, explained, "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 is now exploring the next step, which is to run production trials.

Södra is Sweden's largest forest-owner association, with 52,000 forest owners as its members. Södra is also an international forest industry Group, with operations based on processing its members' forest products, such as softwood and hardwood pulp, and wood products.


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