Smithers Pira: Why do you think interest in non-wood pulps are growing?
Wade Chute: People want to know if they are able to reduce manufacturing cost, improve quality, or capitalize on the environmental image that non-woods can offer. Wood based pulps are pretty much understood. Despite the fact that they have been sources of papermaking fiber for a lot more years than wood, non woods have not been studied or reported nearly as much in the modern context.
Smithers Pira: What do you think is the biggest stigma/myth associated with non-wood pulps?
Wade Chute: The biggest stigma is that they are of inferior quality. Non wood pulps do have something to offer modern paper grades, and each mill should really consider what specific opportunities or attributes can be realized by using non woods. In some cases they will make sense, and in others they won't. It's up to us qualified technical and business people to find those opportunities for our respective companies.
Smithers Pira: What are some of the best innovations going on within the non-wood pulp industry?
Wade Chute: The best innovations are the simplest. Companies are seriously looking at ways of adapting their existing assets to capitalize on specific opportunities. It doesn't need to be really different or hugely expensive, either. The same type of innovation has successfully been applied to different wood based materials by our industry. We are smart enough, and if we are motivated enough, we can do this with nonwoods too.
Smithers Pira: What are you most looking forward to hearing during the non-wood pulp workshop?
Wade Chute: I'm looking forward to hearing from mill technical people who can see how this can fit into their own operations. I hope it's an interactive forum where creative ideas are shared.
Don't miss Wade Chute's presentation during the Pre-Conference Workshops on Tuesday, September 19th! Register today and add the workshops to your registration to learn more about the Non-Wood Pulp workshop!