Director: Professor Niko DeMartini
A strategic material produced from a renewable resource; paper is critical to our civilization. Paper has been of paramount importance in the transmission and storage of information necessary to science and literature. It has also enabled the creation of modern business and industry. Even in the modern world, paper, in partnership with electronic information systems, is essential. Wood pulp is raw material not only for paper but for thousands of structural, absorbent and packaging products that are so completely embedded in our lives that we often overlook them. Canada is one of the largest suppliers of pulp and newsprint and has a long tradition of scientific and technological leadership. These factors make our country a major force in the pulp and paper world.
The Pulp & Paper Centre at the University of Toronto, which exists within the umbrella of the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, was founded in 1987. Although the Centre has grown and changed with the challenges that face the industry, its mission since inception has been to stimulate research and support teaching in pulp and paper science and engineering and to encourage collaborative research with industry partners.
For the past 35 years, the Centre has hosted a continuous series of 12 university-industry research consortia that have traditionally focused on energy and chemical recovery, and have more recently broadened in focus to include biofuel combustion and biorefinery research projects which seek to convert forest biomass and mill waste into alternative sources of energy. This work has increased the competitiveness of the Canadian pulp and paper industry and its suppliers by improving energy and chemical recovery efficiency, improving operational safety, increasing equipment reliability and efficiency, increasing utilization of biofuels, reducing environmental impact, and lowering the carbon footprint. This long-lasting partnership has supported the research of many professors, researchers and students and, over the years, has engaged over 60 different companies. The present consortium on Effective Energy and Chemical Recovery in Pulp and Paper Mills, led by Professor Nikolai DeMartini, involves 12 professors and over 20 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from four university departments, and 25 industry partners from seven countries.
The Centre continues to enrich students’ educational experiences through interesting and relevant research projects, seminar programs, professional development programs, annual research meetings, and international exchanges. The Pulp and Paper Centre is also well integrated with the Technical Association of Pulp & Paper Industry’s (TAPPI) student chapter, providing ample opportunity for networking within the industry worldwide.
Technical and engineering problems are illuminated, and rigorous research methodologies are applied to investigate the underlying critical phenomena. This has made the University a significant source of expertise for the pulp and paper industry and their suppliers in Canada and the world and has created a unique learning environment for students.