The U.S. paper industry manufactures more than 90 million tons of paper and paperboard annually using wood fiber and recovered paper. The diversity of products includes tissue and toweling, printing and writing, packaging, and specialty grades. More than 50% of the paper utilized in the U.S. is recovered for recycling. There are 430 pulp and paper mills in the United States. The paper and pulp industry is concerned with the production of cellulose-based products from wood. The industry is one among the largest industrial sectors in the global marketplace, and is expected to reach $256 billion USD in 2017, and approximately 3.5 million people are directly employed by the industry across the globe. The industry produces a wide range of commercial paper products, including tissue paper, glossy paper, catalog paper, drawing paper, and printer paper, with paper for envelopes, cards, newspapers, magazine, and other purposes are also produced by the industry. It also produces the paperboard which is used for shipment and storage of all kinds of consumer goods, as well as the pulp used for making sanitation and female hygiene products.
The paper and pulp industry utilizes a variety of industrial processes to turn its natural resources (namely wood pulp) into consumer grade commodities. For pulping, there are three different processes. Specifically, these are the mechanical one, the chemical one, and, lastly, the semi-chemical one. The chemical pulp making process is most popular today, and is mainly done by utilizing the “Kraft process”, wherein caustic soda and sodium sulfate are used to convert wooden chips into a dark, brown-colored pulp. This pulp is then bleached by chlorine dioxide to produce a white pulp suitable for paper making, sanitary products, and other purposes. The pulp is then passed through an endless moving mesh of wires where water gets separated and the formation of it into sheets take place. These sheets of paper are then dried by using heated cast iron cylinders. Finally, the paper undergoes a process called “calendaring” to achieve its desired smooth finish.
ICI understands the processes involved in the manufacture of paper and the importance of meeting regulations. ICI provides equipment and parts suitable for each stage of the manufacture.