Pulp mill waste destined for landfill could be useful as organic fertilizer while improving soil, tree growth; University of Alberta's two-year study conducted on hybrid poplar tree plantation finds that adding biosolids reduced GHG emissions from soil

Sample article from our Sustainability & Social Responsibility

EDMONTON , December 6, 2023 (press release) –

Adding “biosolids” along with conventional fertilizer may reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving soil, study suggests.

Pulp mill waste destined for the landfill could instead be useful as an organic fertilizer to help reduce the environmental impact of using conventional fertilizers while improving soil and tree growth, University of Alberta research shows.

two-year study conducted on a hybrid poplar tree plantation in northern Alberta showed that compared with using conventional fertilizers alone, adding biosolids — wood and other fibres left over from pulp and paper production — reduced harmful greenhouse gas emissions from the soil.

Conventional fertilizer, containing industrially produced urea, has been shown to stimulate nitrous oxide, a major contributor to global warming. Though pulp mill biosolids are generally rich in organic content and low in toxicity, it wasn’t known how they might also have an effect, says Scott Chang, the study’s lead author and a professor in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences.

Combining biosolids and conventional fertilizer also improved soil fertility, the study showed. 

The findings provide new insight into what effect biosolids could have if they were redirected for use on tree plantations that feed the forest industry.

The results of the study show the potential for developing a “win-win strategy” in managing pulp mill waste, he notes.

“Repurposing biosolids as an organic fertilizer, which may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, could improve the sustainability of the pulp and paper industry.”

To read the full story, click here. To speak with Scott Chang, please contact: 

Debra Clark
U of A communications associate

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.

See our dashboard in action - schedule an demo
Dan Rivard
Dan Rivard
- VP Market Development -

We offer built-to-order sustainability & social responsibility coverage for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation.

About Us

We deliver market news & information relevant to your business.

We monitor all your market drivers.

We aggregate, curate, filter and map your specific needs.

We deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.

Our Contacts

1990 S Bundy Dr. Suite #380,
Los Angeles, CA 90025

+1 (310) 553 0008

About Cookies On This Site

We collect data, including through use of cookies and similar technology ("cookies") that enchance the online experience. By clicking "I agree", you agree to our cookies, agree to bound by our Terms of Use, and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. For more information on our data practices and how to exercise your privacy rights, please see our Privacy Policy.