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REVIEW

ISWFPC

2013

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The 17th International Symposium on Wood, Fibre and Pulping Chemistry June 12-14, 2013 - Vancouver (BC) Pre-Symposium Nanocrystalline Cellulose June 9-10, 2013 Victoria (BC)

MUCH CHEMISTRY AMONG VANCOUVER DELEGATES CHEMISTS from around the globe descended on Vancouver to spread knowledge and plan future collaborations at the International Symposium on Wood, Fibre and Pulping Chemistry. For three days from June 10th, more than 200 chemists, academics and industrial experts stepped away from their everyday jobs and came to the Pacific Northwest for this remarkable international event. Enjoying the facilities at the prestigious downtown Sheraton Wall hotel, the delegates kept themselves abreast of the most recent progress across the field at the 17th Symposium.

Organized by PAPTAC (Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada), with the support of affiliated organizations who helped promote the event, the biennial event held around the world on a rotation basis is a must for specialists and researchers involved in wood chemistry. Among the delegates, eminent experts presented their studies, with presentations focusing on the most important aspects of wood chemistry and on the emerging needs and trends of the industry. With Pulp and Paper and forest industries constantly developing in terms of technology and science, PAPTAC helped industry experts keep pace with the advancement and transformation of the sector.

Subsequently, the need for development, innovation and increased knowledge of the properties and processes of wood, fibres and other lignocellulosic materials formed a key basis of the symposium.

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ISWFPC 2013

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Dr. Sylvain Robert, well-known professor of chemistry at the Université du Québec à Trois Rivières, was the chairman of the event.

among industry peers of this international community. A buffet luncheon and a special evening of dining with a succulent banquet at the Pavilion Ballroom saw thanks given by PAPTAC to Dr. Sylvain Robert, chairman of the Symposium, Dr. Jean Bouchard , co-chairman of the Pre-Symposium, which took place in Victoria on Sunday 10th June and Monday 11th and Mr. Thomas Hu, ISWFPC 2013 Program Chair. The evening ended with a magical moment as Lara and Victor entertained the guests with magic performances, which enchanted the audience.

Each day was divided into morning and afternoon sessions, led by chairmen and revolving around three main fields: PROCESS CHEMISTRY TRACK RAW MATERIALS AND NEW PROCESS TRACK PULPING AND BLEACHING PROCESS AND NEW PRODUCTS TRACK Nearly 200 presentations were made at the symposium – each selected by an international committee of experts. PAPTAC gave those who did not present their work as oral presentations the opportunity to illustrate their studies by displaying posters. A special space in the conference rooms was devoted to an additional 100 case studies, with attendees using their breaks to take the opportunity to view them.

In conclusion according to the feedback received and testified by interviewed experts in the field of chemistry, we can affirm that this Symposium in Vancouver was a success.

Away from the scientific and academic presentations, PAPTAC offered participants several networking activities. A welcoming reception in the main conference area of the Sheraton hotel was a big success, with a majority of delegates attending – taking the chance to network and mingle

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As a matter of fact the next Symposium will take place in Austria – Europe in 2 years and in Brazil in 4 years time. The Symposium program, as well as the proceedings, are available on-line at www.iswfpc.com. For PAPTAC activities please visit our website www.paptac.ca.


ISWFPC 2013

REVIEW

THE 17TH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON WOOD, FIBRE AND PULPING CHEMISTRY – A THREE-DAY EVENT IN DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER – WAS ATTENDED BY ALMOST 200 PEOPLE. PAPTAC took the opportunity to discuss the Symposium’s outcome and objectives with members of the Organizing Committee and other delegates: Dr. Sylvain Robert explained that the main reason why he regularly attends the Symposium is because: The Symposium is my workplace. There is a whole range of scientists who make high-level presentations that affect different sectors and themes. Presenters at the symposium collaborate among themselves; they have an open mind and are willing to share ideas, whereas when they are at home they do not reveal much of their work. Dr. Derek Gray came for a different reason: I have always come to the Symposiums except to China, so it is a must for me to come. I like the fact that thanks to the 2 years rotation I get in contact with different scientists on site and I can make a lot of fruitful exchanges. Dr. Thomas Hu explained that: The Symposium is the only place where you see a lot of applicable fundamental science. The Symposium is a good platform to get to know the perspectives and tendencies in the Pulp and Paper sector both from the academic and the industry’s points of view. Apparently according to Dr. Theo Van de Ven: It is even hard to decide which session to attend as they are all very interesting. This event seems to be the ideal platform to take notice of the studies as well as their application into the so-called ‘real world’: Do you think that academia and industry are still 2 worlds apart? Dr. Sylvain Robert stated that: Needs continue to be a bit different: business and industry in general have the purpose of making money. To help achieve this goal networks and programs have been created in order to try and facilitate communication between these two worlds. The centre of excellence network is very close to the universities’ needs that the Canadian government has targeted relative to the needs of the industry. Official ISWFPC Conference News Coverage brought to you by:

He continues on citing: The ArboraNano program, which is a great example of a basic research panel, which is implemented in response to the needs of the industry. There is still a 'gap' between the two worlds, but not as important as in the past, but we must also say that the two worlds will never be completely united. As an example, a topic which has been studied in university around 30 years ago may only be recently applied by industry. Overall, the industrial world should consult universities and universities should follow more closely the market. Dr. Jean Bouchard: They are still two different worlds. The link between research and industry should be strengthened. This Symposium is a conference of academics and application of basic research that focuses on a transformation to the BIO (eg biomass, etc.), a prefix which pushes business innovation. The Potential of lignocellulosic fibre is huge, it is necessary to discover the secrets hidden in this fibre, there will probably be a lot of things to experiment. Dr. Jose Colodette pointed out the fact that it really depends on the country we are referring to, he said: Globally there is still a gap between the academic and industry worlds, but it depends on the country we are talking about. Finland and Sweden are very good at keeping and developing good relations between universities and industries, as they communicate and set up common programs. Dr. Derek Gray added that: There is definitely a gap of expectations. People from universities do not always have a clear idea of what’s going on in enterprise. It is important to have contact with human people and the real process of things. Universities should adapt themselves. There is not really a lack of communication, just 2 different perspectives. Dr. van de Ven said: Research is focused and I believe it is focused on the right things, by definition there is always a gap between research/academia and industry because research is always about the future. And getting things to a commercial application point is always a difficult process. Dr. Thomas Hu was very positive about the future possible conjunction of the two worlds, he stated: I think the relation between these 2 worlds is getting better. Some applications have led to productivity improvement and better development. A good compromise has been established between the 2 worlds.


ISWFPC 2013

REVIEW

Thinking about the next Symposium, do you think there are other themes to tackle?

Now it is time to predict the future: How do you see the future of the pulp and paper industry?

Dr . Sylvain Robert definitely cited the Yellowing paper. Canada has been at the forefront of this issue, and although the issue was discussed and resolved by FPInnovations we should discuss it in the future to keep ourselves updated. We should also talk about the Pulping theme: for mechanical and chemical products. Chemical pulping has changed direction and opened up to the world of biorefining, something that 20 years ago was not around. I think the Symposium is able to adapt itself to the evolution of today's research programs.

Dr. Jean Bouchard: Predictions seem negative. I agree on what concerns the newspaper market, which is in constant decline because of the new 'appliances', but the future could be definitely positive if the industry decides to turn around. This is by definition a conservative industry; it should continue to open up and widen its horizons.

Dr. Jorge Colodette pointed out the lack of forestry issues at this Symposium: The forestry development has not been approached sufficiently. Maybe it is not a very pertinent topic for this Symposium, but 1 or 2 sessions on how to produce good raw materials from the trees would have been appropriate and interesting.

North America and Europe have always been the strongest continents in the pulp and paper production. What are the countries to look out for in the future? Let’s hear what Dr. Jean Bouchard said: In the near future probably Brazil and all of Asia will be the next countries to work with. We clearly see the high participation of Asian delegates at this symposium, a clear sign of a changing market. Russia will probably follow. Dr. Derek Gray added: I think there are several emerging countries: Asia and China in particular are the new emerging markets in the Pulp and Paper sector. Chinese people are very good communicators and China has the fastest tissue machines. Brazil is also a very strong and productive country where forestry is very strong and paper machines are very sophisticated as well. But we have not to forget that Canada continues to be a very strong country in terms of Pulp and Paper. Not only because the paper is of good quality but also because the cost of energy is relatively low, and this should be a good point for Canada to take advantage of with a better combination of fibre and energy. Dr. Thomas Hu: The Asian market is very strong, good students come from China and Japan as you can notice from the large attendance of people coming from these countries. It is a very interesting experience to know them in this multi-cultural platform. Official ISWFPC Conference News Coverage brought to you by:

Dr. Jorge Colodette: The Pulp and Paper sector is generally not growing very well, but we cannot generalize and talk worldwide. Brazil for example is a good exception since it has major start up projects in Pulp and Paper, so it is still a good area in which to work. The Biorefinery is a good area in full development, the lignin plants for example are present all over the United States and Brazil. Dr. Van de Ven: Industry is still struggling and will most likely continue to do so for another number of years. That said, there are hopeful signs like export of lumber to USA and the advancement of biorefinery technology. In closing, Dr. Sylvain Robert, Symposium Chair indicated that: We are definitely faced with economic problems that prevent or restrict the organization of conferences. There are resource constraints, but personally I think it always does worth to travel for this purpose. I'm a computer guy, so I follow all the innovation made in the electronic sector but when it comes to a conference I do not like the idea to participate through video. Human contacts are still the best vehicle to make business and spread knowledge, while I think it is a super idea to upload documents online as we can do for this Symposium to avoid carrying books and other papers. PAPTAC wishes to thank all the participants, speakers and members of the Organizing Committee for their expertise, leadership and remarkable support of this event. We are very pleased to have contributed to the continued success if this International Symposium to further the science in particular the fascinating world of the wood chemistry, a world in constant evolution!


ISWFPC 2013

REVIEW

TOPICS CRYSTAL CLEAR AT ISWFPC PRE-SYMPOSIUM…..NANOCRYSTAL THAT IS! Under the leadership of Dr. Wadood Hamad, FPInnovations CNC Pre-Cymposium Chair, the ISWFPC 2013 Pre-Symposium was organized to bring together internationally-acclaimed scientists and researchers to discuss recent advances in cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) R&D covering a wide variety of areas ranging from fundamental properties to applications. A keynote lecture on the promise of nanotechnology was delivered by Professor Arthur Carty, Executive Director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN), who stated that “Nanotechnology – the ability to design, synthesize and manipulate matter at the atomic scale, is now the game-changer in materials science and engineering”. His talk provided an overview of the scope of global investments and the broad spectrum of applications across industry and society and highlited some of Canada’s strengths in the area: namely, nanomaterials and soft materials; nanoelectronics and photonics; and biomedical applications (eg. lab-on-a-chip). Dr. Alan W. Rudie, Supervisory Research Chemist, USDA Forest Products Laboratory, with over 25 years experience in wood pulping and bleaching, spoke of the US Forest Services’ NCC pilot plant, put in place to accelerate development and provide enough raw material for product development. Dr. Rudie emphasized that the pilot plant, which doesn’t compete against other organizations or universities, was purchased with the goal for the research to develop into commercial products. He stated that “it was obvious that if the US Forest Service wanted to promote research and development on cellulose nanomaterials, solving the raw material supply bottleneck was paramount”. Their central office concurred with the conclusion that “availability on a scale suitable for research and development would be helpful” and thus the “overall impact of process changes has been to increase production capability of CNC from 22 kg per week to 50 kg per week”.

Dr. Gray, recipient of the recent 2013 prestigious Wallenberg Prize for his pioneering work on cellulose nanocrystals while at Paprican (now FPInnovations) and McGill University was equally recognized by PAPTAC, in collaboration with CelluForce and FPInnovations, and honoured by his immediate peers at the Pre-Symposium’s banquet dinner, with a Lifetime Achievement Award - in recognition of his Pioneering Work in Cellulose Nanocrystal Research & Development.

There were 16 other lectures by prominent researchers in the field, and the event brought together more than 80 worldwide attendees from academia, industry and government. PAPTAC was delighted to welcome everyone to Victoria and proud to have set the stage for this emerging technology forum that allowed attendees to share experiences, expand their professional networks and discuss the latest research, as well as enjoy good social times together.

Other key presentations were made by Dr Clive Willis (former Vice President of NRC), Dr Richard Berry (VP and CTO of CelluForce Inc.), and Professor Derek Gray.

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