Demand growth for paper and paperboard has recently accelerated and is expected to continue rising driven by population and economic growth. More action is needed in funding innovative technologies and implementing emission reduction policies to ensure that best available technologies and low-emission fuels are widely deployed.
Improving the energy efficiency of pulp and paper production is one of the key strategies to reduce CO2 emissions in the sector. Energy efficiency can be improved through higher on-site waste heat recovery and cogeneration.
Paper production is heat-intensive, mainly due to the large amounts of water to be evaporated in drying pulp and paper. Innovations leading to less water to be evaporated, as well as higher on-site waste heat recovery and co-generation, can increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions. Innovative uses of heat pumps in paper production are being explored to reuse the latent heat from paper drying to produce steam for drying.
Last updated Oct 4, 2022
Global paper production in the Net Zero Scenario, 2010-2030
Reducing energy use by the pulp and paper industry will require greater recycling and waste heat recovery
The pulp and paper sector was responsible for about 190 Mt of CO2 emissions in 2021, about 2% of all emissions from industry and a historic high. As paper production is projected to increase to 2030, significant efforts must be made to reduce the emissions intensity of production. This can be accomplished primarily by moving away from fossil fuels as an energy source and encouraging innovation on technologies that reduce the amount of heat needed for pulp and paper drying.