Xylio Pre saved paper mills 10,000 tons of bleaching chemicals in 2017.

​Tablets and phones are in the hands of billions of people, but the world hasn’t become paperless yet. We still consume mountains of paper.

Producing white paper is not a clean process. Paper mills consume large amounts of bleaching chemicals, and these chemicals are costly and harmful to the environment.

Bleaching chemicals, such as chlorine dioxide, are used to bleach the naturally dark brown wood pulp before it is processed into products like toilet paper and printer paper.

Enter enzymes, goodbye chemicals
The mills want clean alternatives, but they have been few and far between. Now, an enzyme called Xylio Pre developed by Novozymes has shown significant results.

“Enzymes are proteins. They are biological solutions that can help the paper producers cut down on chemicals to benefit the environment and save them money,” says Peter Faaborg-Andersen, Global Marketing & Business Development Director at Novozymes. “Xylio Pre helped the pulp and paper industry save more than 10,000 tons of bleaching chemicals in 2017”.

Enzymes help reduce CO2
Paper mills have had to use excessive quantities of bleaching chemicals to produce the white paper consumers want.

“Xylio Pre enables the bleaching chemicals to penetrate faster and better into the pulp fiber, reducing the total volume of bleaching chemicals needed in the process – and lowering the mill’s environmental impact,” says Peter Faaborg-Andersen and continues: “It also enables mills to avoid 40 kilos of CO2 emissions per ton of pulp produced.”

Enzymes are used in a lot of different industries with benefits for producers and the environment. In 2017, producers saved an estimated 76 million tons of CO2 emissions by applying Novozymes’ products. The savings achieved are equivalent to taking approximately 32 million cars off the road.

Fact Box

  • Paper is made by ‘cooking’ wood chips into a pulp which is then bleached and processed into products such as printing paper, paper towels and toilet paper.
  • Hemicellulose deposits on the surface of individual fibers in the pulp form a barrier against the bleaching chemicals. Xylio Pre acts on the hemicellulose so the bleaching chemicals can penetrate faster and better into the pulp fiber. Hemicellulose is a component found in plant walls.
  • Historically, enzymes have not been used a lot for pulp bleaching because they are affected by the alkaline and hot conditions of the bleaching process.
  • Xylio Pre withstands high pH levels (up to 10) and temperatures up to 90 degrees Celsius.