“Green Steam” Powers the Paper Machine Turbine, Dries Papers, and Provides Heat for Plant
March 24, 2008, Brattleboro, VT – FiberMark, a leading producer of specialty papers and fiber-based materials for a variety of applications, today announced that it has converted the manufacturing operations at its Vermont headquarters to be able to run up to 100% used vegetable oil. With this conversion, FiberMark has become the first manufacturer in the state of Vermont and in the paper industry to generate part of its process energy from waste biofuel. The “green steam” produced by the vegetable oil not only powers FiberMark’s Brattleboro paper machine turbine and dries its papers, but also provides heat for the plant. Before the conversion, FiberMark consumed approximately two million gallons of number six fuel oil per year. Switching to used vegetable oil now allows the company to reduce its use of number six fuel oil and to significantly eliminate toxic sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, the leading causes of acid rain and common side effects of burning of fuel oil. The vegetable oil burns far cleaner than conventional fuel.
Among the ancillary benefits of the conversion to vegetable oil has been the working environment for FiberMark plant employees. Since vegetable oil burns far cleaner than rude oil, atmospheric soot from the facility has been significantly reduced. Indicative of his change is the plant’s air opacity, which before varied from 5% to 7% and is now between 0.5% and 1.5%.
The conversion to vegetable oil-fueled manufacturing is one of a number of environmental nitiatives spearheaded by FiberMark. Others include: certificate code SW-COC-003054) verifies the flow of FSC-certified forest products through FiberMark’s supply chain and into its final products, assuring FiberMark customers that the papers they are choosing are made from trees harvested according to strict environmental standards and forest management practices.
- All of the electricity consumed at FiberMark’s Brattleboro headquarters is generated from fossil fuel-free sources (hydro- and nuclear power).
- All FiberMark manufacturing uses aqueous (water-based) coatings.
- FiberMark’s products are all elemental and process chlorine free, including the new Eviva paper line, which is made from 100-percent recycled fiber, including 30-percent post-consumer waste.
- 100% of FiberMark’s Brattleboro waste water sludge is reused as landfill cover. “FiberMark is committed to executing environmentally sustainable practices wherever possible,” said Steve Pfistner, vice president of safety and environmental management at FiberMark. “Our manufacturing processes, our products, and our company culture are all designed to promote environmental responsibility. As the first in the paper industry to power manufacturing operations with vegetable oil to reduce our carbon footprint and conserve our natural resources, we will continue to pursue every opportunity to positively serve the environment. ”