Green paper

Green paper

April 15, 2007
The chlorine that many paper mills use to bleach wood pulp produces harmful chemicals that have wound up in the human food chain. Some of these chemicals are known to disrupt, mimic, and block hormone systems—which are responsible for regulating reproduction, learning, behaviour, and disease resistance in humans and wildlife.

Preventing this is all in a day’s work for Yonghao Ni, the Director of the University of New Brunswick’s Dr. Jack McKenzie Limerick Pulp and Paper Research and Education Centre. Ni and his team have developed more efficient bleaching technologies that have been transferred to the pulp and paper industry.

It all started about 10 years ago when Ni helped establish an integrated forest products facility. The facility allows a multi-disciplinary team of chemical engineers, foresters, and environmental managers to develop green technology for the forest products industry.

“CFI funding played a key role in bringing us together. CFI helped me collaborate with others and push my research further,” Ni says.

And Ni’s research continues to yield big results. The global forestry industry is under pressure from governments and environmental groups to meet higher standards. Ni and his team are working with industry to develop cleaner, more efficient processing methods—new technologies that will keep Canada on the cutting edge of the forest products industry.