New Niche Markets

for the Pulp and Paper Industry Waste, based on Circular-Economy Approaches

Welcome to paperChain

Innovative new circular business models

Waste streams generated by the Pulp & Paper industry

Most of the current waste streams generated by the Pulp & Paper industry (PPI) are currently disposed to landfills or burnt for energy production. Inorganic wastes are basically used as cement raw material and to a lesser extent as soil amendment in forestry applications. These solutions have a low added value and are dependent on the existence of cement kilns and acid soils in the vicinity of the mills, reducing their potential valorisation. Although there is extensive academic research on the waste valorisation to enhance the utilization of paper mill waste streams, there is still a lack of alternatives proved at real scale under operational conditions.

Innovation brought by the project

Paperchain is a demonstrative project that proposes innovative applications for different underused PPI waste streams, proving their technical, economic and environmental feasibility in five circular business models through real scale pilots.The project aims at unlocking the situation that hinders the proposed solutions to reach the market, including not only technical issues, but legal, social and economic factors.
To overcome these barriers, the project has involved the whole value chain and provides transparency of their outcomes, being public awareness a priority.

paperChain at a glance

The overall objective of PAPERCHAIN is to deploy five novel circular economy models centred in the valorisation of the waste streams generated by the Pulp and Paper Industry (PPI) as secondary raw material for a number of resource intensive sectors: construction sector, mining sector and chemical industry.

The Project

PAPERCHAIN project brings in an industrial symbiosis model centered in the use of different waste streams generated by the European Pulp and Paper Industry, as valuable feedstock for three resource hungry industrial sectors: construction sector, mining sector and the chemical industry.


Composed by 20 partners from 5 countries (Portugal, Spain, Slovenia, France and Sweden). The partners along with the supporting parties cover the whole value chain of each local demonstration activity, which includes academia, public authorities, waste generators and end-users.

Circular Cases

PAPERCHAIN aims to unlock the potential of a resource efficient model based on industrial symbiosis which will demonstrate the potential of the major non-hazardous waste streams generated by the PPI (i.e. green liquor dregs, grits, lime mud, paper sludge fly ash, deinking paper and fibre sludge) as valuable secondary raw materials.


Five different Circular Economy Models will be carried out through Real Scale demonstrators

Circular Case 1

Circular Case 2

Circular Case 3

Circular Case 4

Circular Case 5

5 Circular Cases

4 Countries





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