Paper360 - January/February 2012 - (Page 4)

SETPOINT Think SMALL, Gain BIG EDITORIAL STAFF GLENN OSTLE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR/ ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER LARRY N. MONTAGUE PRESIDENT & CEO, TAPPI ERIC FLETTY VP OPERATIONS, TAPPI KEN PATRICK SENIOR EDITOR MONICA SHAW EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, TAPPI JOURNAL RAMESH GUPTA INTERNATIONAL EDITOR MARIA LUISA VALENCIA INTERNATIONAL EDITOR ADMIN/PRODUCTION/SALES PUBLISHER TOM SCHELL MANAGING EDITOR MICHAEL SENECAL MARKETING BRIANNA MARTIN INTEGRATED MEDIA DIRECTOR SHANE HOLT (352) 333-3345 SALES ASSOCIATES SHAUN GREYLING NICHOLAS MANIS JOHN O’NEIL JASON RUPPERT RICK SAUERS ROBERT SHAFER JASON ZAWADA INTERNATIONAL SALES MURRAY BRETT DESIGN Sunny Goel REPRINTS C hina has surpassed the United States as the leading manufacturer of paper. That’s the conclusion of a report by Asia Pulp and Paper that goes on to say that China’s output of paper and cardboard products grew 170% between 2001 and 2009, and that the country is forcing its paper industry to clean up its operations. In July, the Chinese Government revised its plans to shut down outdated paper and pulp equipment nationwide, raising its target for capacity closure to some 8.2 million tonnes. Meanwhile, huge new and efficient paper, board and tissue machines continue to be installed. This kind of news underscores the changes that have been taking place in the global pulp and paper industry, and should serve as a wake-up call for companies committed to maintaining their status quo. In particular, it doesn’t bode well for the North American pulp and paper industry as it enters 2012. When added to a stalled U.S. economy, the encroachment of electronic media on core businesses, aging mills and machinery, and generally lower demand for many grades, it’s hard not to feel a little uncertain about the future. But as the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens, and there are increasing signs that many pulp and paper companies are taking a proactive approach and looking beyond just relying on the production of paper, board and tissue to ensure their future. We’ve written in the past about the rise of biorefineries that could help ease dependence on foreign oil and provide many companies with complementary revenue streams. In our September/October issue, we described the rise of dissolving pulp and how demand for alternate textile raw materials has spawned capacity expansions and conversions worldwide. In this issue we focus on yet another use for pulp, namely subdividing it down to the nano level to help improve some of the products that our industry produces, as well as develop new products that will be key ingredients for other manufacturing industries. In his June 2011 address at TAPPI’s International Conference on Nanotechnology for Renewable Materials, Mico Roco from the National Science Foundation and the National Nanotechnology Initiative, estimated the global potential market for products using nanotechnology at nearly US$1 trillion by 2015, and US$3 trillion by 2020, with wood products estimated to capture 20% of this market. That’s an impressive number and one, if capitalized on, that could have far reaching positive effects for the pulp and paper industry. In our feature article in this issue, you’ll read about some of the current efforts to commercialize nanotechnology based on nanocrystalline cellulose. Recently, a team of industry volunteers developed a four-minute video, available from TAPPI, to help raise awareness of the potential of trees in the nano world. In it they state, “We’ve been making useful products from trees for years. But now we’re going even deeper into the tree for a new generation of products. Using the science of nanotechnology, we’re unlocking the tiny secrets nature has held for centuries.” It is exciting that such a high tech area of research is moving toward commercialization. But it is even more exciting—and encouraging—that the pulp and paper industry is in a position to play an important role. To turn around an old saying—it pays to think small. GLENN OSTLE | 4 Paper360º JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Paper360 - January/February 2012

Over the Wire . . . News Summary
Thinking Small Is Leading to Big Changes
Who’s in Control in the Packaging Industry?
The Problem of Paper Curl
Preventing Bacterial-Generated Gas Explosions
Environmental Challenges for the Coming Decade
Association News

Paper360 - January/February 2012