Man has been making paper from pulped wood since 1838, and from plant fibres (such as cotton or flax) since 105 AD. In modern times, the pulping process has become refined and is now a highly industrialised process, resulting in a range of high quality products.
Pulping is the process of converting wood to separated pulp fibres for papermaking. Processes range from purely mechanical, in which the wood is ground into fibres, to chemical and thermochemical, in which the fibres (cells) are separated by chemically degrading and dissolving the lignin that binds them together in the tree. Increasingly, biological pulping is been used in which white rot fungi are used to help break down the lignin.
Current research focuses on improving efficiency, reducing waste, recovering raw materials for re-use, recycling, reducing energy use, and controlling pollution.
The resources in this section include research organisations and national and European associations that represent the industry.
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