Feb 4, 2020

Sustainable bioproducts deserve sustainable processes

Jukka Borgman
Jukka Borgman
Director, Technology Development

Sustainability is one of the driving megatrends in industry today. For the pulp and paper industry, sustainability has become an integral part of not just the sourcing, manufacturing and shipping processes, but also the portfolio of marketable end products being made. New bioproducts are being produced at modern mills around the world.

Valve in hand

New bioproducts are often being produced from process side streams and raw materials that would otherwise go to waste. Wood-based bioproducts utilize sustainable raw materials and in many cases are used to replace less environmentally friendly materials and products. This means things like non-fossil-based biogas and biofuels as well as new composite materials designed to replace single-use plastics for example. But every new product being refined and produced requires a new industrial process. Achieving the best possible environmental performance in each of these new processes is also important.

Our long history, understanding and proven valve solutions for handling gaseous media in demanding process environments outside of the pulp and paper industry has helped position us as a reliable valve partner for many of the new bioproduct processes. In many cases, these new bioprocesses set new types of requirements for our customers, some of them quite similar to those which we have been dealing with together with our oil and gas customers. Thus, our existing expertise from other customer segments can be utilized in maximizing reliability in bioproducts as well.

In addition to the longevity, accuracy and tightness of valves in active operation, reducing fugitive emissions plays an important role in environmental performance. Obviously gaseous flow media escaping excessively into the atmosphere poses not only an immediate health and safety risk for mill personnel, but also an environmental hazard if it goes unresolved. But what we often fail to remember is, that fugitive emissions also have other effects on the process, reducing both process performance and environmental performance simultaneously.

Leakages and emissions can mean the loss of valuable flow media, but it also means a loss of pressure. This pressure loss means that pumps have to work harder, unnecessarily increasing the energy consumption of the process. Being able to reduce energy consumption is both a sustainability act and an economical saving on the single biggest cost of any production process. According to a European Commission study (European Commission – SETIS – Energy Efficiency in Pulp and Paper) energy costs can add up to approximately 30% of your total production cost.

The solution is to find the right valve that delivers the right performance for your specific process needs. Together we can find the perfect balance between sustainability, performance and cost, to help you achieve your business goals sustainably. We always offer valve solutions that are field-proven and tested for the best possible performance. We also ensure that the valves we provide meet all of the relevant local, global and industry-specific certification criteria in terms of health, safety and environmental performance.

We are committed to being your reliable valve partner. We want to see each of our customers achieve the best possible performance in terms of profitability and sustainability, and we make ourselves available to help you achieve this throughout your mill’s entire lifecycle.

The text has been updated in April 2022, due to the company name change to Valmet.

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