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(ECF) bleaching -- based on chlorine dioxide -- is the
superior choice for pulp and paper manufacture. The science, a proven
environmental track record, and strong market demand demonstrate that
ECF is without rival in terms of pollution prevention, resource conservation,
and product quality.
is a solution to dioxin and other persistent, bio-accumulative, toxic substances
in mill waste water."1
- Dr. Robert Huggett, former U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator,
Research & Development
an excellent example of enlightened industrial response to an environmental
concern and should be embraced by the environmental community." 2
- Professor Don Mackay, former member of the International
Join Comission, the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board and its Virtual
Elimination Task Force
especially pleased that the 'best available technology ' selected
for the papergrade kraft mills was an Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) technology."
Browner, former U.S. EPA Administrator
To find out more
about what other experts say on ECF, choose from the following topics:
dioxide has "chlorine" in its name, its chemistry is very different
from that of chlorine gas...
- Chlorine gas (Cl2)
is made up of two chlorine atoms. Chlorine dioxide (ClO2)
is composed of one chlorine atom and two oxygen atoms. It is roughly
50 percent oxygen by atomic weight.
- During the pulp
bleaching process, chlorine tends to combine with lignin (the substance
that holds the wood fibers together) to create chlorinated organics
that end up in mill waste water.
In contrast, chlorine
dioxide typically breaks apart the lignin, leaving behind organic
compounds that are water soluble and very similar to those occurring naturally
in the environment. 4
of chlorine dioxide for elemental chlorine in the first stage of the bleaching
process reduces the discharge of chlorinated organic compounds."
- Paper Task Force
The science is
compelling: the ECF process prevents pollution. It virtually eliminates
dioxin in mill waste water...
"A notable accomplishment
occured when the pulp and paper industry changed its process for pulp
bleaching by substituting chlorine dioxide for elemental chlorine. This
substitution virtually eliminated the production of dioxins from pulp
and paper mills."
"...the recent effort
of the industry to deal with the dioxin problem can be regarded as a salutary
example to other industries..."7
- Barry Commoner
et al., Center for the Biology of Natural Systems
(TCF) bleaching, based on such chemicals as ozone and hydrogen peroxide,
was once trumpeted as environmentally superior to the ECF process. Yet,
out at universities in Gothenburg and Stockholm showed that effects of
waste water from bleaching plant on water organisms is the same, irrespective
of the bleaching method. And the National Swedish Environment Protection
Board refuses to classify the chlorine free method as more environmentally
- Svenska Dagbladet,
"There is no appreciable
environmental difference between TCF and ECF."9
Institute for Environment and Development
With the virtual
elimination of dioxin in mill waste water, the U.S. EPA and Environmental
Canada has recorded significant improvements in aquatic eco-systems...
Since 1990, state authorities
have cleared, i.e., lifted, dioxin advisories from 25 waterbodies downstream
of pulp mills, which is 83 percent of the 30 such advisories in effect in
2003, only 10 waterbodies have a dioxin advisory downstream of bleached
chemical pulp mills. These 10 affected waterbodies represent less than one-half
of one percent of the total 2,618 U.S. waterbodies under some type of an
The U.S. EPA predicts that all remaining dioxin advisories downstream of
U.S. pulp mills should be lifted following completion of the industry's
conversion to ECF bleaching.12
"Releases to effluents
from the pulp and paper sector have been reduced to below the measurable
concentration' level as per the [Canadian Environmental Protection Act]
regulations, which is in keeping with the objective of virtual elimination.
For this sector, for release to water, no additional work is recommended."
of fisheries by dioxin/furan releases in pulp mill effluent has stopped
and significant environmental improvements achieved. Approximately 46
percent of commercial fisheries previously closed by dioxin contamination
in coastal area of British Columbia have now been reopened."
- Environment Canada
and Health Canada 14
ECF pulp provides
for strong paper products and its manufacture places a lower strain on
precious forest resources...
- ECF bleached pulps
have a higher tear and fiber strength compared to TCF pulps.
- Studies indicate that TCF pulp manufacture may increase wood consumption
up to 2.5 % more than an ECF process. 16
allows production of kraft pulps that meet the highest requirements with
respect to strength, brightness, brightness stability, cleanliness, etc."
- Jan Rennel, Jaakko
Pöyry Consulting AB, Stockholm, Sweden
"The magazine paper
makers (LWC) stated they required 10% more additional softwood kraft when
running TCF and TCF product had inferior reinforcing properties (~10%)."
- Mike Bradley, Canfor Ltd.
Demand for ECF
pulp has dramatically increased in the last decade...
- Worldwide, ECF
production exceeded 63 million tonnes in 2002. That's 75 percent of
the world market. TCF production, in contrast, has stalled at 5 percent
of the world market and remains less one percent of the U.S. production.
- ECF pulp production
in the U.S. has increased by more than 5,000 percent since 1990. It
now commands 96 percent of the U.S. bleached chemical pulp market. 18
- Former TCF mills in Germany and Sweden have converted to ECF production
to meet market demand.19 20
- It is no wonder that with such continuing strong government support
and overall environmental integrity, new bleached chemical production
coming on to the market will use ECF-based bleaching technology21-23.
"The decision for
our concept [bleaching strategy] was guided by the expectation that with
ECF we would find a market for 100% of our capacity and that this would
not apply to TCF."24
- Dr. Karl Heinz
Haller, Managing Director, Production/Research & Development, Zellstoff
Pöls AG, Austria
- Dr. Robert Huggett,
testimony given at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's public hearing
on the proposed Cluster Rule for the pulp and paper industry, Washington,
DC, Feb. 10, 1994.
- Don Mackay, "A
Perspective on the Sources and Fate of Organochlorines," paper presented
at the Organochlorine Consortium meeting, Toronto, ON, June 1994, p.
- Carol Browner,
"The Cluster Rule: A Step Forward," PaperAge, July 1994, p. 26.
- Dahlman et al.,
"On the Nature of High Molecular Weight Effluent Materials from Modern
ECF- and TCF-Bleaching," Proceedings, 1994 International Pulp Bleaching
Conference, Vancouver, BC, June 1994.
- Paper Task Force,
"Paper Task Force Recommendations for Purchasing and Using Environmentally
Preferable Paper," Project Synopsis, Dec. 1995, p. 14.
Joint Commission (IJC). 10th Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality.
- Commoner et al.,
"Dioxin Fallout in the Great Lakes: Where It Comes From; How to Prevent
It; At What Cost (Summary)," Center for the Biology of Natural Systems,
Pulp is Not Better for the Environment," Svenska Dagbladet, Sept.
23, 1996, (translated from the Swedish).
- "A Changing Future
for Paper," International Institute for the Environment and Development,
commissioned by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development,
- EPA May 2002.
Update: National Listing of Fish and Wildlife Consumption Advisories,
Fact Sheet. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water. EPA-823-F-02-007.
U.S. EPA, Regulatory Impact Assessment of Proposed Effluent Guidelines
and NESHAP for the Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Industry, Nov. 1993,
- Environment Canada
and Health Canada, Chlorinated Substances Action Plan: Progress Report,
- Environment Canada
and Federal and Provincial Task Force on Dioxins and Furans. Dioxins
and Furans and Hexachlorobenzene Inventory of Releases. A report
prepared for the Federal-Provincial Advisory Committee for the Canadian
Environmental Protection Act (CEPA-FPAC). January 1999.
- Jan Rennel, Jaakko
Pöyry Consulting AB, Stockholm, Sweden, "TCF -- An Example
of the Growing Importance of Environmental Perceptions in the Choice
of Fibres," Nordic Pulp and Paper Research Journal, No. 1/1995, p. 32.
- Integrated Pollution
Prevention and Control (IPPC). Reference Document on Best Available
Techniques in the Pulp and Paper Industry. European Commission. Directorate-General.
Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies,
Technologies for Sustainable Development. July 2000.
- Bradley, M., "Why
Would Pulp and Paper Makers Consider Integrating Life-Cycle Assessment
Into Their Businesses." 1998 Paptac Annual Meeting. Montreal, Quebec.
- Trends in World
Bleached Chemical Pulp Production: 1990-2001. Alliance for Environmental
Technology. January 2002
- Meadows, D. G.,
"Germany Rosenthal Mill Prospering after Conversion to Kraft Pulping"
Tappi Journal, Vol. 84. No. 1, January, 2001
- Larsson K-A.,
"Development at Aspa Mill". Nord. Papp. Massa no. 4, 2000, pp 48, 50-51
News. No. 19, Year 6. April, 2001.
- Stendal Finds Funds
for Pulp. Pulp and Paper International. October 2001.
- Mesto Paper to
Supply Pulping System for Arauco Valdivia in Chile. Pulp Market Update
Feb. 6-12, 2002. Paperloop.com
Karl Heinz Haller, Zellstoff Pöls AG, Pöls, Austria, "A Decision
in Favour of ECF: What a Decision in the German-Speaking Area!" Proceedings,
1996 International Non-Chlorine Bleaching Conference, Orlando, FL, March
1996, p. 10.