How many times can the forest fibre be recycled?

Gunilla Jönson, Lars Nyberg

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragKonferenspaper, ej i proceeding/ej förlagsutgivetPeer review


Market forces and legislation push the recovery of used material as part of developing a sustainable society. Materials made of forest fibres have the advantage compared to other materials that they are easy to recycle. It saves resources. Production of paper based on used fibres uses also less energy than paper containing new fibres.

The market focus on recovery makes it a reasonable assumption, that fibres of varying age will circulate in the forest fibre system. It is also reasonable to assume that the properties of the raw material are not constant using these fibres. Instead the fibre properties are influenced by their previous history. Any fibre mix has therefore to be evaluated before used in new paper, where the requirements of small variations in paper properties are great.

Literature studies have concluded that the knowledge about the fibre age is very limited as well as the yield function depending on age distribution of fibres. Still it is often claimed that a forest fibre can be recycled six times before loosing its performance properties. In a new study different yield scenarios have been analysed. Actual data from paper manufacturing mills have also been studied.

The conclusion drawn from the study is that the likelihood a forest fibre is recycled six times is not great. More likely, the forest fibres will be recycled two to three times.
StatusPublished - 2000

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