Paper, Pulp and Paperboard Production from Bamboo

Paper, Pulp and Paperboard Production from Bamboo

Paper, Pulp and Paperboard Production from Bamboo. Profitable Bamboo Processing Industry


Bamboo is a quickly renewable resource. Bamboo is the single fastest growing species of plant on the planet with some species growing more than a meter a day. In sharp contrast to trees which require decades to recover from harvesting, bamboo reaches maturity in 3 to 5 years or less and when it is cut, the stem is left in the soil to sprout a new shoot and start the growing process again.

Paper has been made from bamboo for hundreds of years. The commercial process uses actual bamboo canes for pulp. Bamboo paper is attracting the attention of companies and individuals looking for eco-friendly printing and sustainability. Despite the digital revolution, the demand for paper is growing globally.

The bamboo pulp is one kind of paper pulp like wood pulp, straw pulp or reed pulp. The bamboo pulp is usually made from moso bamboo, phyllostachys pubescens and sinocalamus affinis by sulfate digestion process or soda process. The bamboo fiber morphology and length is intermediate between wood fiber and straw fiber.

Bamboo pulp can be made into bamboo paper. Bamboo paper is strong and it has wide applications. The bleached bamboo paper is used to manufacture offset paper, typing paper and high-grade culture paper. The unbleached bamboo paper is generally applied to package papermaking. Besides, bamboo pulp and wood pulp can be mixed and used to make cable paper, insulation paper, and cement bag paper.

Bamboo pulp is a kind of paper pulp. It is made from the moso bamboo, phyllostachys pubescens and sinocalamus affinisetc, with the sulfate digestion processand soda process. There are also tender bamboo green, lime pickled into half-clinker. Fiber form and length, between wood and grass fiber. Easy sizing, bamboo pulp for medium fiber length pulp, fine and soft. The thickness of pulp is loose, the tear is high, and the breaking strength and tensile strength are low. High mechanical strength. Paper made of bamboo pulp, bleached for making offset printing paper, typing paper and other advanced cultural paper, unbleached paper for making wrapping paper, etc.

Market Outlook

The pulp and paper industry is a large and growing portion of the world’s economy. Most of the pulp and paper mills are located near the major waterways and have an access to a large, uninterrupted supply of water. After using the water for pulp and paper production, these mills discharge the used water into the waterways as waste. The pulp and paper industry is faced with mounting environmental, political, and economic pressures to reduce the volume and toxicity of its industrial wastewater.

The overall demand for paper, growing annually at 6.7 per cent, is expected to touch 20.8 million tonne in the country in fiscal year 2020-21, driven by rising income levels, growing per capita expenditure and rapid urbanization. The Indian paper industry accounts for about 3.7% of the world’s production of paper. The estimated turnover of the industry is INR 60,000 crore (USD 8.5 billion approximately) and its contribution to the exchequer is around INR 4,500 crore. The industry provides employment to more than 0.5 million people directly and 1.5 million people indirectly.

India is the fastest growing market for paper globally and it presents an exciting scenario; paper consumption is poised for a big leap forward in sync with the economic growth. The futuristic view is that growth in paper consumption would be in multiples of GDP and hence an increase in consumption by one kg per capita would lead to an increase in demand of 1 million tonnes.

The demand is projected to boost to 23.5 million tonnes by 2024- 25. India is the greatest growing market for paper in the world with a growth rate of about 6 percent yearly. The increase of per capita paper utilization by one kg will raise the demand by about 1.25 million tonnes per annum.

Indian paper industry can be majorly classified further as below:

  • Newsprints: Newsprint serves the newspaper & magazines industry. This segment forms ~15% of the domestic paper industry.
  • Writing and Printing Paper: Printing and writing segment caters to office stationary, textbooks, copier papers, notebooks etc. This segment forms ~30% of domestic paper industry.
  • Packaging Boards: Packaging paper & board segment caters to tertiary and flexible packaging purposes in industries such as FMCG, food, pharma, textiles etc. This segment forms ~51% of the domestic paper industry. This is amongst fastest growing segment after Tissue owing to factors such as rising urbanization, increasing penetration of organized retail, higher growth in FMCG, pharmaceutical.
  • Tissue: Tissue paper is majorly used as paper handkerchiefs for facial & toilet purpose. Currently due to its low base and increasing hygiene awareness, this segment witnessed fastest growth.

India produces many varieties of papers, namely, printing and writing paper, packaging paper, coated paper and some speciality paper. Varieties under printing and writing paper are creame wove paper, super printing paper, maplitho paper (non-surface and surface size), copier paper, bond paper and coating base paper and others. The varieties under packaging paper are kraft paper, boards, poster paper and others. The other varieties under coated paper art paper/board, chromo paper/board and others. There are approximately 600 paper mills in India, of which twelve are major players.

Global Paperboard Market

The global paperboard market, which stood at US$122.69 bn in 2015, is prophesized to reach an estimated value of US$227.47 bn by the end of 2024. During the forecast period from 2016 to 2024, the market is anticipated to rise at a strong 7.1% CAGR.

On the basis of its application, the market is segmented into packaging and graphic printing. Due to its light weight property, it is very convenient to be handled in packaging, loading and unloading. On the other hand, due to its better printing and graphic capabilities, it is used as an effective marketing tool for brand awareness and promotion.

Global paperboard market is expected to drive on account of growing manufacturing and packaging industries across the globe. Several paper pulp layers are compressed in order to make paperboard as a finished product. They are widely used by manufacturers and retailers for packaging purposes. Growing paperboard packaging trend is expected to propel global paperboard market over the forecast period.

Rise in environment related concerns and issues are expected to boost global paperboard market especially in packaging sector over the forecast period. Paperboards are not acceptable by manufacturing units producing large weight products for packaging activities as they are not able to handle high stress and pressure owing to which it is expected to hinder global paperboard market growth. As paperboards are produced from tree pulp or wood pulp, it results in deforestation which is expected to obstruct global market in coming years. Stringent environment related regulations by EPA are expected to slow down the market growth rate over the forecast period.

Global paperboard market player includes Metsa Group, Sappi Limited, Caraustar and Cascades Inc., Oji Holdings Corporation, Shandong Bohui Paper Group Co., Ltd, International Paper Company, Clondalkin Group, ITC Limited, Nippon Paper Industries Co. Ltd., Paper Works Industries, Stora Enso Oyj, Multi Packaging Solutions, Smurfit Kappa Group plc., Graphic Packaging International and Mondi plc. Global market is highly fragmented in nature. Developing countries are expected to be the major targets on account of huge global paperboard demand from growing end use industries including packaging and manufacturing.

Bamboo pulp is very similar to softwood in terms of fiber length and strength, however, bamboo can also be pulled together with hardwood. Mix of softwood and hardwood will yield stronger pulp compared to hardwood pulped separately. Bamboo wood contains high levels of papermaking fibres because plant cell walls are composed of cellulose which is the main material used to make paper. The structure and shape of the cellulose bamboo wood fibre varies from species to species and even within an individual tree.

The leading players in Asia bamboo pulp market are Ampack Corp, Hindustan Paper, Phoenix Pulp and Paper, Panjipol Paper Industry, Siam Cellulose, The Titaghur Paper Mills, Yibin Paper, Yaan Paper, Guangxi Liujiang Paper, Guangdong Guangning, Guizhou Chishui, Zhongzhu Group and others. Bamboo pulp is categorized into two variants such as bleached pulp and unbleached pulp. Bamboo pulp is used in the manufacture of printing paper, writing paper, tissue paper, textiles and many more.

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