Return to AET Homepage
About UsEnvironmentally Preferred PaperThe Science of ECFReports and Communication ResourcesContact UsMembersRegulatory and Market NewsResponsible Care
Join our Listserv


March 25, 2009
Contact: Doug Pryke

Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) Pulp Production Growth Accelerates

-- ECF is Technology Choice for New Production Capacity Around the World --

(ERIN, February 15) - For the 17th year in a row Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) Pulp increased its share of the world bleached chemical pulp market. The greater than 89% market share ECF pulp captured in 2007 confirms ECF as the best available bleaching technology for chemical pulps. The growth for ECF is documented in “Trends in World Bleached Pulp Production: 1990 - 2007,” a report released today by the Alliance for Environmental Technology (AET).

“The growth of ECF is accelerating,” said Douglas C. Pryke, Executive Director of AET. “ECF pulp production grew by approximately 12.6 million tonnes of ECF production compared to 2005. Growth rates were particularly high in all regions outside of North America and Scandinavia,” Pryke noted recognizing the worldwide pulp and paper industry’s move to incorporate environmentally sustainable manufacturing practices.

International documentation of ECF’s environmental integrity continues to mount. A recent assessment of bleaching technologies showed ECF’s superior attributes with respect to papermaking quality and wood consumption and reiterated that there is no significant difference in biological impact on the aquatic environment when comparing ECF and TCF bleaching effluents.

ECF’s superior attributes were cited as the reason one of the largest TCF producers in Scandinavia recently converted to ECF production, citing the following reasons: 1) ECF pulp is more suitable to their customers processes; 2) increased production capacity; 3) higher pulp brightness without sacrificing pulp strength characteristics; 4) simpler bleaching sequence; 4) increased pulp yield; and 5) impact on the aquatic environment was unchanged.

The report documents yearly pulp production data since 1990 for ECF, TCF (Totally Chlorine-Free), and conventionally bleached pulp. As documented, ECF pulp production grew to more than 88 million tonnes worldwide in 2007. The small niche TCF market modestly declined retaining less than 5% of the bleached chemical pulp market.

“The growing market share is sending a clear message. When values such a price, performance and overall environmental integrity are considered, the technology choice is ECF,” said Pryke.

The Alliance for Environmental Technology is an international association of chemical manufacturers dedicated to improving the environmental performance of the pulp and paper industry.