Many types of waste products are generated in the paper and pulp industry through primary and secondary treatment of substances derived from virgin wood fiber sources, non-wood sources, and recycled paper products. Paper fibers are fiber generated at any paper mill that utilize wastewater treatment process Paper fiber is a fiber which is derived from paper and pulp manufacturing process. Paper fiber is generally made up of wood fiber, clay, and lime. It is a recycled product with wide applications. Paper fiber generated from the wastewater treatment has low content of nitrogen and phosphorus. Due to low quantity of nutrients in paper fiber, it is best suited for agriculture where retaining nutrients in the soil is a major challenge. The usage of paper fiber in soil has intense effects on soil’s physical, chemical, and biological properties. Paper fiber contains wood fibers that are too short to bond in the paper manufacturing process. Paper fiber provide excellent properties such as retention of water. They also provide abundant organic matter, and are employed in the manufacture of deeper organic soil when used for agriculture and land reclamation process. The high water retention capacity of paper fiber is primarily due to the presence of lime and clay. Paper fibers are widely used for land reclamation, revitalization, and enrichment of topsoil. Paper fibers are also employed for bedding, as they absorb moisture and provide padding. Paper fibers also provide excellent sealing properties when applied in caps on closed landfills. The topsoil, which is manufactured by using paper fiber, is superior in quality when compared to conventional loam for projects on steep slopes. Usage of paper fiber provides various benefits in the construction of topsoil. These include reduction in soil erosion, increase in nutrient retaining capacity of the soil, decrease in soil compaction, and lower need of irrigation.
The market for paper fiber can be segregated in terms of end-use application into agriculture, animal bedding, and land reclamation. The inability of soils to retain micronutrients essential for the growth of plants and erosion of topsoil is the major factor driving the paper fiber market. The agriculture application is anticipated to be the dominant end-use application of paper fiber. Paper fiber is also employed for animal bedding in dairy cattle. Paper fiber offers excellent water retaining capacity. This helps in creating a dry environment for cow and reduces the chances of bacteria growth.
In terms of region, the paper fiber market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The global market for paper fiber is expected to expand due to the increase in number of dairy farms and agricultural activities for topsoil revitalization. Asia Pacific is expected to hold dominant share of the market due to large availability of arable land. The paper fiber market in China and Australia is estimated to expand due to the presence of large number of dairy farms in these countries.
Key players operating in the paper fiber market are Resources Management Inc., Nine Dragons Paper Holdings Limited, WestRock Company, STORA ENSO, JK Paper Limited, and Casella Waste Systems.
RMI Inc. provides a link in the recycling chain by utilizing paper fiber and soil amendment and animal bedding material. The company’s paper fiber increases soil organic matter, improves water retention capacity, and is perfect for steep slope applications. Casella Waste Systems manufactures topsoil blends, which contain paper fiber, lime, and clay. Its topsoil blends are rich in organic content and ideally suited for use on exposed or eroding areas of topsoil.
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