The production of paper is very energy consuming, because a fibre suspension of 0.2% solids content has to be dewatered by mechanical or physical methods to 93% dry content. A comprehensive approach based on new scientific results on simulation and sensor technology will be applied to optimize all three steps of paper production, i.e. wet end, wet pressing and drying. The goals for increased energy efficiency set in the project Integrated Ecopaper are:
1.) Development of a new system of wet end chemicals and improved process water loop closing which will lead to energy savings on one hand by reducing the vacuum power demand for dewatering. On the other hand it increases the solids content of the paper after the wire section leading to a reduction of drying energy.
2.) Development of a wet pressing technology reducing felt vacuum conditioning energy by optimizing water distribution in the press felts. Furthermore it increases solids content after the press section leading to a further reduction of drying energy.
3.) Development of sensors and control systems for the drying section which are reducing start-up time by 30% and thus lowering specific energy consumption per startup by 2.5%. The project will increase energy efficiency in paper production by implementing new dewatering technologies. Improved process control lowers energy consumption by reducing overdrying of the paper, which then needs to be rewetted to meet the specified dry content.