Biorefining – in a nutshell this is what wood chips and pulp waste disintegrate to – lignin and cellulose. Lignin can then be used in the form of various fibers, resins even as some additives to construction cement mixes. The real potential comes from cellulose – it contains sugar and that makes it ultra-valuable for the chemical industry since it is the major building block there. Such sugars are in the heart of almost any plastics and polymers used by automotive, household and really almost any industrial application.
The immediate power of biorefining comes from the fact that the chemical industry is interested in finding alternatives to fossil fuels. While at first thought making plastics from trees is counter intuitive, such methods of raw material supply are one of the ways to sustainable bio-chemistry. When waste pulp is transformed into glycol and then into polymers, resins etc., this actually completes the manufacturing loop and gets close to waste-less industrial manufacturing. Some side uses of glycol are in the making of paper gloss which often makes large cardboard boxes strong, durable and increases printing quality. What is more, glycols are also found in regular household waste such as polyethylene terephthalate or the all popular PET or PETE with resin code 01 found on the bottom of many plastic beverage bottles. If only someone can reach into the great Pacific garbage patch and start re-manufacturing! Future would show whether PET, wood chips and pulp can be manufactured in the same facility in order to extract the almighty glycol.
Naturally while all these latest developments in bio-chemistry sound really exciting, they have to be economically viable. This means that production of glycol from sugar and pulp must compete in price and quality with its petroleum counterparts.
Filed Under Large Cardboard Boxes | Comments Off on Biorefining – New Utilization Methods for the Building Blocks of Large Cardboard Boxes