deploy five novel circular economy models centred

New market niches for the Pulp and Paper Industry waste based on circular economy approaches

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.


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.

A systemic approach is followed for each of the major sectors targeted, integrating the whole value chain from the waste production through their final application. In each sector, all the major stakeholders are present in the circular model including waste production, waste treatment and recovery, product manufacturing, end-users of the products and civil society.

Five Different Circular Economy Models are proposed, namely:

Construction sector

  • Circular Case 1: valorisation of Paper industry’s causticizing residuals (i.e. lime mud, slaker grits and green liquor dregs) as secondary raw materials for concrete and asphalt manufacturing.
  • Circular case 2: valorisation of deinking paper sludge and waste paper ash produced by Recycling Pulp mills for the rehabilitation and slope stabilization of landslides in Railway lines.
  • Circular case 3: Valorisation of ash produced in the energy recovery from paper waste produced by Recycling Pulp mills as alternative binder for soil stabilization works in road projects.

Chemical sector

  • Circular case 4: Valorisation of fibre sludge waste generated by the Pulp industry as secondary raw materials for the production of ethanol derivatives for the Chemical industry (i.e. Paints)

Mining sector

  • Circular Case 5: Valorisation of green liquor dregs produced by the Pulp industry as reactive sealing layers for acid rock drainage mitigation in mine waste deposits.

Project Objetives

  • To design the baseline for the circular economy models surrounding the Paper and Pulp Industry and the selected sectors
  • To implement the valorisation processes at industrial scale
  • To demonstrate the circular models at real scale in four EU countries
  • To validate the sustainability of the circular economy models
  • To carry out the certification processes, training and guidelines for the recycled solutions
  • To develop a market strategy, exploitation routes and ensure replication


48 months


  • ACCIONA (Coord)
  • AKZO NOBEL Functional Chemicals AB
  • Boliden Mineral AB, Domjso Fabriker AB
  • Dusan Holesek
  • Fundación Gaiker
  • Greenize Projects S.L.
  • LGI Consulting SARL
  • Lulea Tekniska Universitet
  • Megavía Construçoes e Obras Publicas S.A.
  • The Navigator Company S.A.
  • Sekab Biofuels AB,
  • Slovenske Zelenice Infrastruktura
  • RISE Processum AB
  • SPRAL – Sociedade de Pre-esforçados de Aveiro
  • Fundación Tecnalia Research & innovation
  • Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya
  • Universidade de Aveiro
  • VIPAP Videm Krsko Proizvodnja Papira in Vlaknin D.D.
  • ZAG Zavod za Gradbenistvo Slovenije.

Web Page

Other innovation of material projects

All of our projects