A first-of-its-kind commercial-scale manufacturing facility for new grades of northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp is planned for Domtar’s mill in Dryden, Ont. The project has received $2 million from the IFIT program, and is described as “modified softwood pulp fibre for high-performance composites.”

Domtar will develop and commercialize a portfolio of new, premium-value grades of northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp.

This pulp can be used to produce writing- and specialty-grade papers, tissues and paper towels, as well as in non-traditional, growing and value-added markets such as fibre-reinforced materials, including cement and fibreglass. The use of modified fibres will also lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by reducing the amount of fibre required to manufacture the products utilizing these new grades.

Support for this project comes from Natural Resources Canada’s Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program.

This will be the first commercial manufacture of Domtar’s modified fibre based on softwood pulp and the first time that cost-effective, high-performance blends of modified fibre and NBSK are commercially produced, according to the federal government press release.

It also says this process could result in up to a 50 per cent increase in the fibre-bonding performance properties compared with conventional NBSK grades.