Chemical pulp is a man-made fiber of cellulose which is acquired from plant material and is further processed predominantly in the paper industry, white pulp being used to produce printing and writing paper and brown pulp being used to produce paperboard and packing paper. Chemical pulping results in superior quality papers as the process dissolves the lignin existing in the wood and separates the cellulose fibers. The main applications for chemical pulp are board production and paper. The manufacture of high-quality and cost effective chemical pulp requires efficient programs for washing, cooking, deposit control, bleaching, metal and water quality and quantity management. Chemical pulp process can be subdivided into the following categories: sulfite pulp process and sulfate pulp process.
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The sulfite process cooks wood pieces in sulfurous acid mixed with limestone to manufacture calcium bisulfite. The blend of calcium bisulfite and sulfurous acid separates the lignin in the wood and releases the cellulose fibers. The sulfite pulp is flexible and durable and is generally used to enhance the characteristics of mechanical pulps, mostly in newsprint industry. The sulfate pulp process is the most commercially viable chemical pulping method. The process originated from the soda processes developed in the early nineteenth century, which used alkaline solutions to digest wood. Paper manufacturers added sodium sulfate to the soda process and a superior pulp was produced. To increase brightness and whiteness of chemical pulp and to discard residual lignin, chemical pulps can be bleached.
The global chemical pulp industry is expected to increase, due to rising demand for tissue products and paperboard packaging. In addition, growing demand from end use industries in emerging economies is expected to boost the revenue of the chemical pulp industry. The growth in emerging economies is expected to be driven by rapid urbanization and a growing population. The growth in mature markets is being driven by increasing use of hygiene, packaging and specialty products However availability of substitutes and volatile raw material prices could hamper the growth of this market.
Asia Pacific, the fastest growing market for chemical pulp industry, is expected to generate substantial revenue during the forecast period. China and India are expected to be the largest consumer of chemical pulp in Asia Pacific due to presence of an established paper industry. Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Macau, Australia, Republic of China (Taiwan), Philippines and Japan are other key markets in Asia Pacific. Europe and North America currently dominate the chemical pulp market and account for majority of the global consumption. Germany, Italy, and France are expected to be the largest consumers of chemical pulp in Europe.
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The chemical pulp industry is dominated by large and small enterprises. Companies are using aggressive marketing programs to capture global market share. In addition, they are focusing on research and development to develop new products for specific industries. Furthermore, companies are expanding in emerging markets such as Asia Pacific to expand their geographical presence. Some of the key players operating in this market are AkzoNobel NV (Netherlands), BASF SE (Germany), Bayer AG (Germany), Clariant International AG (Switzerland), Dow Chemical Co (U.S.), ERCO Worldwide (Canada), FMC Corp (U.S.), Shell Chemicals (Netherlands), Solvay SA (Belgium), Ashland Inc (U.S.), Kemira Oyj (Finland), Buckman Laboratories International Inc (Canada), Cytec Industries Inc (U.S.), Enzymatic Deinking Technologies LLC (U.S.), ExxonMobil Corp (U.S), Nalco Holding Co (U.S.)and SNF Floerger (France) among others.
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