Paper Advocate

Volume 9, Number 4
Dec 1996


Research Needed by the Recycling Industry

A survey of research priorities in the recycling industry, undertaken by Progress in Paper Recycling, showed that the most important topics, in descending order of priority, were:

Restoring strength properties of recycled papers
On-line monitoring of contaminants
Pacification of stickies
Efficient screens and cleaners
Bleaching and color-stripping
Deinking office papers

There were 14 other topics, which were ranked lower than these six. Details are in the November 1996 issue of Progress in Paper Recycling.

Alkaline Papermaking in Latin America

Every year since 1993, at least one Latin American paper mill switches from acid to alkaline papermaking. The December Papermaker names some of the leading alkaline paper producers in Latin America, and gives their date of conversion:

Masstech (country not named) - 1993
Witcel/Celulosa Argentina en Capitan Berlundez Ledesma - 1994
Propal/Celulosa Argentina Zarate - 1995
Votorantim Jaceri/Votorantim Luis Antonion [Antonio?]/Atlas/Suzano/Fanapel (Brazil?) 1996

Boise Cascade's Jackson Mill to Get a PCC Plant

In October, Minerals Technologies Inc. announced that Specialty Minerals Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, had signed an agreement with Boise Cascade Corp. for the construction of a satellite precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) plant at the Boise Cascade paper mill in Jackson, Alabama. It is expected to be in operation by the second quarter of 1997.

The mill is currently making alkaline paper. This new PCC plant will cut the cost of alkaline filler substantially, since the PCC will not have to be shipped in from a supplier.

This mill converted to alkaline before, but had to go back to acid in 1992 because of unsolved problems.

1st Urban Fiber can Delignify as Well as Deink Pulp

Four new deinked market pulp mills are surveyed in the November Progress in Paper Recycling. One of them, 1st Urban Fiber, uses oxygen bleaching, which not only bleaches the pulp, but delignifies it. As a result, incoming recovered paper can include a low level of groundwood, but after bleaching/delignification it tests groundwood free, and reacts to light like virgin pulp. The mill is located in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Customer's Panel Draws Few at Papermakers' Conference

The TAPPI Papermakers Conference was held March 24-27 in Philadelphia, and was well attended for the most part, but the conference report in the October 1996 Tappi Journal notes that the panel on End Use Requirements from the Customer's Perspective was not. The authors, Randall Shearin and James Luce, say this was unfortunate in view of the important insights expressed. The panel included representatives of the largest U.S. paper distribuor, the second-largest North American printer, a large international specialty coating and rotogravure printing house, the oldest corrugator operation in Philadelphia, and the U.S. government.

PIMA Magazine Acquires Three Papermaker Magazines

The Paper Industry Management Association (PIMA) and Maclean Hunter Publishing Ltd. of Toronto reached an agreement in November for PIMA to acquire Maclean Hunter's pulp and paper publishing assets. As of December 31, PIMA's North American Papermaker (also identified as PIMA's Papermaker at the bottom of every page) started incorporating American Papermaker and Canadian Papermaker. Another magazine, International Papermaker, appears four times a year as an issue of PIMA's Papermaker, just as it did when American Papermaker was an independent publication. It is published by a consortium made up of Asia Pacific Papermaker, European Papermaker and PIMA's Papermaker.

The Managing Editor and Design Director of PIMA's Papermaker magazine is Jan Bottiglieri. She can be contacted at 1699 Wall St., Suite 212, Mount Prospect, IL 60056-5782 (phone: 847/956-0250; fax: 847/956-0520; e-mail: Editors Alan Rooks and Jerome Koncel have exactly the same address, phone and everything. Editor Jackie Cox is in New York: Papermaker Magazine, 110 E. 59th St., 5th Fl., New York, NY 10022 (phone: 212/909-0336; fax: 212/909-0401; e-mail:

Fraser Papers Plans to Offer Thorold Mill for Sale

Fraser Papers, Inc., was formed in February, 1996, by the merging of Cross Pointe Paper Corp., Fraser Paper Ltd. (which has a mill in Thorold, Ont.) and Fraser Inc. (which has a mill in Madawaska, Maine), all owned by Noranda Forest. The Thorold mill has been unprofitable, so the company has put it up for sale. As of February 10, there were no plans to shut it down.

Simpson Pasadena Mill in Texas is Alive & Well

There is an error in the May 1996 issue of this newsletter, on p. 2, in a story about mills being bought and sold. It should have said that Simpson's Plainwell mill in Vicksburg, Michigan, was being offered for sale, not the Simpson Pasadena mill.

Also, the Vicksburg mill is not acid, but 100% alkaline, in the sense that all its mill grades of printng and writing papers are alkaline. Its unconventional conversion to alkaline was described in the October 1988 issue of this newsletter by George Lawton.

Also, since last May, Fox River has purchased the Ripon and Vicksburg mills, and the Ripon mill has run an alkaline trial.

Thanks to Jim Kluesener of Fox River for setting us straight and helping us maintain (or repair) our record for accuracy.

Repap Accepts Avenor's Purchase Offer

The board of Repap Enterprises, a large paper manufacturer based in Montreal, Quebec, voted unanimously in December to accept a stock swap purchase offer from Avenor Inc., a manufacturer also based in Montreal.

Repap's Miramichi mill in New Brunswick is the second largest in Canada, with an output of 1300 tons per day of alkaline printing and writing paper that uses high-yield pulp made by Repap's proprietary process. Avenor too has one alkaline printing and writing paper mill, which, however, uses fully bleached (low-lignin) pulp.

Specialty Paperboard to Buy Custom Papers Group

Custom Papers Group, Inc., of Richmond, Virginia, has several mills which make papers and boards to order, including some archival grades for the conservation market. Specialty Paperboard Inc., of Brattleboro, Vermont, also makes archival boards. In October it was announced that Specialty Paperboard would buy Custom Paper Group and Arcon Coating Mills of Oceanside, New York.

BCTMP Pulp Mill is Being Built in Michigan

A pulp mill that will generate bleached chemi-thermomechanical pulp (BCTMP), to be built on the Menominee River in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, will be the nation's first, according to a September 15 newspaper story by John Flesher of the Associated Press. The new mill will be called Aspen Bay Pulp & Fibre. Adjacent to it will be a new paper recycling plant that started up in August. Both are welcomed by local citizens, who like the fact that both mills will use processes that minimize pollution. Neither mill will be bleaching with chlorine, and sulphur-producing chemicals will be minimized.

Georgia-Pacific wins Dioxin Lawsuit on Appeal

For the last eight or so years, residents who lived downstream from Georgia-Pacific's Leaf River pulp mill in New Augusta have objected strongly to the dioxin discharged by the mill into the river. In 1990 or 1991, two couples sued the company; in 1993 a jury ruled in favor of the mill because the couples had not shown that the mill damaged their property, which is located 66 miles downstream.

It is not clear how many times this issue has come to court, but a 1990 judgement against the company was overturned in July when a Mississippi circuit court judge dismissed lawsuits against G-P involving 9,100 plaintiffs who claimed that they were damaged by dioxin and other chemicals discharged by the mill.

Zero Discharge Mills Surveyed

Five closed mills making recycled linerboard were studied and compared with 11 open linerboard mills. (Actually, only three of the five closed mills had achieved zero discharge to date.) The average water usage for the open mills was 4,639 gallons per ton of product, while the average for the closed mills was 173 gallons per ton. (Since there is always some loss of water through evaporation, usage is never zero.)

The pH and size used in the open and closed mills also show quite a difference:

Parameter measured Open mills Closed mills
pH 50% acid
38% neutral
12% alkaline
20% acid
60% neutral
20% alkaline
Size 44% AKD
33% rosin
11% ASA
11% none
83% AKD
17% rosin

This movement toward mill closure will probably be another factor driving conversion to alkaline, even in mills using unbleached pulp. The authors of the report, Christine Foster and Dominic Rende, explained this in their article, "How Recycling, Water Reuse Impact Chemistry," in the January PIMA's Papermaker, on p. 53:

"As the mills close up, there appears to be a shift in papermaking from acid/neutral to neutral/alkaline. Subsequently, this caused a shift in the sizing program toward AKD, which is more expensive on a per pound basis than rosin but doesn't require alum."

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