Pulp and paper industry switching to closed-loop water systems

The pulp and paper industry's focus on water recycling, biogas generation and sludge management is sustaining strong investments in the water and wastewater treatment market.

According to analysis from consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan, the pulp and paper industry is seeking advanced water and wastewater treatment technologies which will see the industry expand by more than 50% by 2020.

The global pulp and paper water and wastewater treatment market earned revenues of more than $983.9m (£641m) in 2012 and this is estimated to reach $1.57bn in 2020.

Frost & Sullivan claims the water-intensive nature of the pulp and paper industry and rising water prices, has forced manufacturers to adopt water-efficient and high-end equipment to treat wastewater and reduce water consumption.

Frost & Sullivan energy and environmental research analyst Paulina Szyplinska said: “Pulp and paper manufacturers are looking for advanced water and wastewater treatment technologies with an efficient energy rating and easy operation and maintenance.”

“Increasing dependence on water specialists to comply with tightening environmental standards and enhance operational efficiency has accelerated market growth.”

In addition, significant advances in closed-loop and minimal impact production facilities have added to market revenues.

Closed-loop systems are especially popular within the industry, as they enable the recycling and reuse of water within the pulp and paper industry, as well as recovering excess pulp fibres in the wastewater.

According to the analysis, pulp and paper manufacturers are switching from conventional treatment systems to more sophisticated solutions such as membranes to increase treatment levels and reduce the loss of raw materials.

Szyplinska added: “Continuous technological advancements and infrastructure improvements are vital to boost recycling rates.”

“Water and wastewater treatment equipment suppliers must provide a broad range of customized treatment technologies to appeal to various industrial end-users.”

Conor McGlone

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