Innovation: Conversion Of Paper Mill Sludge Into Absorbent

Last update: 29.06.2013
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recycling, paper mill sludge (pms), sustainable absorbent (capsorb), sustainable technology (caps), environmental benefits, economic benefits, ports & waterways, yacht marinas.,
The main goal of the CAPS project is for the paper industry to send paper mill sludge (PMS) to the CAPS recycling lines so that it can be converted into an absorbent material capable of cleaning up oil and chemical spills on the water surface and/or spills of hydrophobic substances on hard surfaces (e.g. oil stations, mechanical workshops). Thanks to the CAPS recycling solution it is possible to produce a material from the paper mill sludge (PMS) that absorbs more than 99% of the initial quantity of a hydrophobic substance on the surface of the water. The absorbent can be used in a dispersed or packaged form (e.g. pillows, booms). The Project aims to market replicate both the technology for a sustainable recycling of PMS as well as the sustainable product (CAPSorb). It is conceived on an inter-sectoral approach and provides for a variety of environmental and economic benefit to different EU sectors (paper industry, ports, marinas, turism etc.) with the consequent increasing in the competitiveness of EU enterprises.
- The production of Hydrophobic Absorbent for Water Surface Cleaning (HAWSC), is the main goal of the project. This treated paper mill sludge could be taken up by 20% of the potential market in Europe, which would include ports, marinas, petrol stations, oil refineries and even restaurants and hotels.
- The project will extend the production lines that already exist in Slovenia and Finland and by setting up two new production lines a year, capable of processing 80,000 tonnes each. The goal is to be able to handle 26% of all the paper mill sludge produced in Europe.
The biggest environmental benefit will be the decreasing of GHG emissions. The main economic benefits may be summarised as follows: Cost reduction for paper industry due to waste quantity reduction Cost reduction for ports, oil industry and tourism

Ninety million tonnes of paper are produced in Europes paper mills per year and the sludge that is a by product of this production, well over four million tonnes, is either processed and burned or dumped in landfill. The production of synthetic oil spill absorbents generates around 502,840 tonnes of CO2, according to the projects assessments. By processing paper mill sludge to create an absorbent material capable of cleaning up oil and chemical spills, the project claims that only 2.9% of emissions of CO2 equivalent will be generated. But there is further use for the sludge once it has soaked up a spill  depending on the calorific value of the absorbed substance, the material collected can then be used as a secondary fuel source, for power plants or cement factories.

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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Conversion Of Paper Mill Sludge Into Absorbent


01.09.2009 to 31.08.2012

completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

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Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: LIKON Markko

Phone: +38659150799