Researchers from the NC State Department of Forest Biomaterials are at the forefront of a mission to slash greenhouse gas emissions in the pulp and paper industry.
Their initiative, fueled by a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office, aims to replace the carbon-intensive kraft process with eco-friendly deep eutectic solvents (DES). These non-toxic, bio-based solvents promise a significant reduction in carbon emissions, potentially achieving a 35% decrease in pulp production's carbon intensity.
This innovative project also focuses on eliminating sulfur and chlorine from the process to address environmental pollution concerns. Moreover, approximately 10% of the project's budget is allocated to support diversity and inclusion initiatives, nurturing awareness of bioproducts and the bioenergy industry among high school students.
In essence, this research marks a significant stride toward a greener, economically sustainable future for the pulp and paper industry, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions.