Editor: Professor Samuel Schabel, TU Darmstadt

Recycled fibre

Everything you need to know about the recycling processes and development of new solutions for products in the circular economy

 

 

Our economies and societies are implementing principles of bioeconomy and circular economy with growing speed and intensity. We expect that these principles will help to reduce the intensive use of non-renewable and fossil raw materials and CO2 emissions significantly. Both objectives are among the top drivers of politics and economy today.

Reuse, recycling and biodegradation are basic engineering tools for enabling bioeconomy and circular economy principles in a technical and industrial environment.

Recovered and recycled materials have been part of paper product from the beginning. The paper industry is today one of the few industry branches where on one hand recycled raw material play the major role and on the other hand experience with industrial large-scale recycling processes and systems counts for decades. This offers more opportunities in societies based on bio- and circular economy principles and objectives.

At the same time, changes and challenges are big for the paper industry. Demand for graphic paper, which was the major column of the paper industry for decades, is falling and falling, collection systems are changing, paper products become more and more versatile and the need for sustainable packaging materials seems enormous and is today the main driver of growth.

In particular, the demand for sustainable packaging materials and for replacing non-degradable plastic products offers enormous potential for innovative paper products, but therefore paper has to be functionalised with barriers, coatings and much more. And with ideas, concepts and solutions for innovative products, questions about recycling and reuse of such products arise and become as manifold as the ideas are. Today’s collection and recycling systems are designed as optimised and working well for newspapers, magazines, corrugated boxes, boxboard and to some limited extent for paper-based liquid packaging. New printing techniques, new packaging designs, new paper-based products throw up lots of technical, economical and also regulatory challenges to be tackled and solved soon.

The Recycled fibre theme gives all the background information to understand recycling, develop new solutions and make use of the manifold opportunities for paper-based products in a circular bio economy.

The theme covers the legislative framework of recycling and in particular paper recycling in Europe. It introduces state of the art strategies and systems for collecting and processing recovered paper and preparing it as a high value raw material for the paper industry.

The methods and design criteria for producing and evaluating recyclable products are a hot topic in the European Union at the moment. This theme gives you the latest technical information.

At the heart of the recycled fibre theme are the explanations and descriptions of unit operations for recycling paper and the design strategies for processes and mills. For unit operations, technical information will be given and also the scientific background needed to optimise these processes and develop new solutions for future applications.

This theme will be completed by information on innovative secondary raw materials, environmental aspects of recycling and the description of the major relevant test methods.