Hardwood pulp futures market price trend. Image credit:INO.com
Today's printing and writing papers commonly have 20-30% recycled content. For fiber packaging materials, 60 to 100% recycle content is typical. It took decades for industry to reach those levels. Can you imagine what would happen if the paper industry had to price-compete against oil companies for waste paper feedstock? Recycled content of all manner of papers would surely decrease. More virgin forests would have be cut to make up the difference, whenever ethanol demand spiked. Singled-minded researchers from the National University of Singapore seem to have conveniently overlooked that predetermined outcome.Analysis of the Singapore investigators work is provided by SciDevNet. From Willey Interscience, their original study abstract states:
...globally, up to 82.9 billion litres of waste paper-derived cellulosic ethanol can be produced worldwide, replacing 5.36% of gasoline consumption, with accompanying GHG emissions savings of between 29.2% and 86.1%.Logging, shipping, and de-lignifying wood are value-adding steps the pulp and paper industry had a century to perfect, and which the nascent cellulosic ethanol industry is still struggling with. The prospect of competing for trees is bad enough. Swiping the post consumer reclamation stream is quite another matter. The bio-fuel industry needs to find a feedstock that is neither food, nor feedstock to a vital existing industry sector. And then learn to add their own value to nature's bounty.
More posts on cellulosic ethanol.
First Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefinery in the U.S. Opens
Cellulosic Biofuels May Be No Better Than First Generation Fuels ...