Voith and Essity progress on pilot project for CO2-neutral paper production in Heidenheim, Germany; Voith is developing concepts to avoid fossil fuels and reduce CO2 emissions for electrification of paper drying, as well as heat pumps for heat recovery

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HEIDENHEIM , August 29, 2023 (press release) –

  • Voith and Essity work on an innovative concept for CO2-neutral paper production
  • For the electrification of paper drying, Voith is developing various concepts to avoid fossil fuels and reduce CO2 emissions
  • Voith is involved in various industry initiatives, such as the ‘Modellfabrik Papier’, to promote the decarbonization of paper production using completely closed systems

At the end of April, Voith unveiled a completely new disruptive concept for paper manufacturing in collaboration with hygiene and healthcare company Essity. This concept enables CO 2-neutral paper production as well as fresh water savings of up to 95 percent and energy savings of up to 40 percent. Currently, Voith and Essity are working on a pilot plant in Heidenheim, Germany. In addition to the disruptive concept, Voith is also focusing its research and development on other promising solutions. The leading full-line supplier invests around 100 million euros annually in the development of more efficient and sustainable solutions to drive decarbonization in paper production.

An important field of action for decarbonization is the drying of paper, as this is where the greatest energy consumption occurs. Drying cylinders are typically heated with steam, which is often generated by burning fossil fuels. In order to dispense with the use of fossil fuels, Voith is working intensively on concepts for the electrification of paper drying. In the process, various technologies are evaluated to determine their potential and identify suitable solutions depending on the energy source at the site. This leads to significant reductions in CO2 emissions at the paper mills.

In addition to electrification, heat pumps for heat recovery are included in the development approaches to further improve the sustainability balance. Digital solutions, intelligent control systems and innovations in the area of fabrics and roll covers offer additional efficiency benefits.

Voith is a member of various industry initiatives to drive forward the decarbonization of paper production. One such initiative is the ‘Modellfabrik Papier’, in which companies along the value chain work with research institutes and higher education institutions on pre-competitive basic research.

Dr. Lada Bemert, Vice President New Business and Research at Voith Paper and Deputy Chairwoman of the shareholders’ committee of the Modellfabrik Papier, confirms the positive impact of the initiative.

As part of the "Papermaking for Life" innovation and development offensive, Voith Paper is presenting versatile technologies and initiatives that lead to more efficient and sustainable processes in papermaking. The focus is on water, energy and fiber savings as well as digitalization, innovations and partnerships as levers for more sustainable production. Another focus is on Voith's own activities at its locations worldwide. Learn more about Voith Paper's innovations in the area of sustainability. For more information on the Modellfabrik Papier, click here.

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Dan Rivard
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