How is pulp made?

Pulp is truly a versatile bio-product manufactured from renewable wood raw material. Modern pulp production is based on the best available technology and the philosophy to create more with less raw materials, water, energy and environmental impact.

Pulp manufacturing is more than energy self-sufficient generating wood-based bioenergy for the national electricity grids. In addition, pulp manufacturing from softwood generates valuable by-products and production residues such as lignin, turpentine and tall oil which can be further processed to innovative products.

This video presents pulp production process from A to Z starting from the wood raw material.

How do we make pulp

 The pulp production process can be divided roughly into three stages: wood handling, fibre processing, and drying and baling.

​1. Wood handling

Wood handling
​Wood is first debarked and cut into small chips for more efficient pulping. The bark of the trees is used for bioenergy production at the mill.

​2. Fibre processing

While the raw material affects significantly the properties of the end-product, the process for both hardwood and softwood is nearly identical, the only difference being the structure of the wood. Softwood consists mostly of cellulose and lignin, and it contains less hemicellulose than hardwood. Softwood fibres are longer than hardwood fibres and thus softwood pulp is called long fibre pulp, whereas hardwood pulp is short fibre pulp. Softwood's long fibres contribute to strength of the material it is used for.

Cooking the wood chips in the presence of sodium hydroxide and sulfide liquor under high pressure removes the lignin and separates the wood into cellulose fibres. During the cooking process, approximately half of the wood dissolves.

The pulp is then washed, screened for quality and bleached.

The spent cooking chemicals and dissolved wood material is called black liquor. This substance is recovered and burned in a recovery boiler to produce energy that keeps the process running. It is renewable, wood-based, pure energy - perfect for replacing fossil fuels. In causticising, even the cooking chemicals are processed for re-use.

Fibre processing

​3. Drying and baling

Drying and baling
​The pulp is then dried for easier handling and transportation, cut into sheets and baled. Now the pulp is ready to travel the world.
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