Biotreatment of the wood prior to pulping softens the bonds in the wood with the use of natural, wood-decaying fungus. The use of this technique is feasible for mechanical wood-pulping facilities and is effective in reducing energy consumption and improving fiber strength. In the process, size screened chips are first heat treated to eliminate other bacteria that may compete with the lignin-degrading fungus. The chips are then air-cooled, inoculated with the fungus, and incubated – either in piles (Kramer et al., 2009. p.110) or in silo reactors (Biopulping International). During incubation, the enzymes secreted by the fungus degrade the lignin and soften the wood (US DoE, 2002). The incubation time can be between one to four weeks, and is heavily dependent on climatic and seasonal factors if incubation is done in open piles (Kramer, et al., 2009. p.110). The incubation time in silo reactors is reported to be two weeks (US DoE, 2002). The necessity to store up to four week’s demand of wood makes it difficult to deploy this technology in mills with space limitations. This technology is reportedly ready for commercial deployment. (Kramer, et al., 2009. p.110)

Development Status Products
Mechanical Pulp

BiotreatmentCosts & Benefits

Parent Process: Virgin Material Preparation
Energy Savings Potential

Biotreatment leads to 33% less energy consumption for pulp refining (Kramer, et al., 2009. P.110).
On average, electricity consumption can be reduced by 25 to 30% (Biopulping International, 2012)

CO2 Emission Reduction Potential


Biotreatment Publications

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