Canadian Biomass Magazine

CMPC and Foresight launch new circular economy challenge

September 6, 2022
By Foresight Canada

CMPC, the biggest worldwide pulp and paper company with 47 industrial plants across eight countries, is seeking innovative solutions to recover fibres from the waste water sludges produced during their manufacturing process in the new Pulp Mill Sludge Efficiency Challenge in partnership with Foresight.

To recover high-potential materials, CMPC is looking for a dehydration system that can turn the existing liquid pulp and paper mill sludge into dry, manipulable materials to be reused for new purposes.

Successful solutions should be able to reach 50 per cent dryness or higher for the primary sludge, in bales or briquettes format, and 70 per cent or higher for secondary sludge, in bulk format.

“At CMPC, we are committed to preserving our environment, because we understand that our work depends on sustainable use of our natural resources. As a global leader, we are part of a new era that challenges companies and citizens to move from a linear to a circular economy, reducing our carbon footprint and optimizing our processes. This challenge will allow us to recover high-potential materials from sludge and save more water in our activities, putting us one step closer to our sustainability targets,” said Sebastián Corthorn, Sr Innovation Engineer with CMPC.


The circular bioeconomy opportunity

The circular bioeconomy is projected to be a $7.7 trillion opportunity by 2030 with $240 billion in Canada alone.

This challenge offers a unique opportunity for ventures to showcase their bioeconomy experience to an international client. Through bioeconomy innovation, Canada has the opportunity to elevate competitive advantages in the forestry, pulp and paper, and agriculture sectors, and to use the existing innovation ecosystem to create a thriving market for bioproducts.

“The circular bioeconomy is a projected $7.7 trillion worldwide opportunity. Canadian innovators have the opportunity to become leaders in this growing sector. Conserving resources and recovering valuable, scarce, or high potential materials is in everyone’s best interests. We are proud to be working with CMPC to recover fibres from their international pulp and paper mills and hope this challenge inspires others in their industry to adopt similar practices,” said Jeanette Jackson, CEO of Foresight Canada.

Next steps for innovators

To give innovators an opportunity to learn more about the challenge, including desired outcomes, eligibility criteria, as well as a Q&A period, Foresight is hosting a challenge webinar on Tuesday, September 27, 8:00 PST. Interested parties can register for the webinar here.

Once innovators feel they have a solution to offer CMPC, they can apply here.

The Pulp Mill Sludge Efficiency Challenge is in partnership with Foresight Canada and CMPC.

CMPC is a founding partner of Foresight’s bioNEXT initiative. First launched in February 2022, bioNEXT supports early stage entrepreneurs involved in the bioeconomy. Learn more.

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