Phase I

Phase I began in 2007 as a five year, $2.4M research program on Energy Reduction in Mechanical Pulping.  The multi-disciplinary research program aims to reduce electrical energy consumption in the mechanical pulping process by 1000 GWh/yr or 20% through scientific discovery and the development of new technology while maintaining or improving product quality and production.  To accomplish this goal, a range of projects were proposed that span the risk-reward spectrum from incremental to transformative.


Phase I of the program was composed of several projects that combined theoretical, laboratory, pilot and mill scale experiments in the following strategic areas:

  • LC Refining
  • Latency removal/agitation
  • Novel fractionation
  • System integration/control
  • Pumping efficiency
  • Novel mechanical pulping

Numerous HQP from Phase I have since been recruited by industry, including:

Antti Luukkonen – PhD Student – Andritz
Jens Heymer – PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow – Advanced Fibre Technologies
Taegeun Kang – Post Doctoral Fellow– Energy Manager Howe Sound Pulp and Paper
Imad Abuyousef – MASc Student – Westcan Industries
Ali Elahimehr – PhD Student – recruited by West Fraser QRP
Jiyang Gao – PhD student – Neucel
Mazayer Jalayer – MASc Student – Fluor Canada

UBC’s Pulp and Paper Centre built Pilot LC Refining Facility

Aikawa/AFT-FineBar, and NSERC partnered to build a state of the art LC refining facility in the Pulp and Paper Centre at the University of British Columbia.  Aikawa donated the new LC refiner, FineBar donated the plates, while NSERC provided $142K to purchase the ancilliary equipment.  

LC Refiner

LC Refiner

The new facility expands on the existing pulp loop in the pilot plant and consists of:

  • 2 x 4 m3 tanks
  • 2 x 15 HP agitators with VFDs
  • 40 HP pump (450 GPM) with VFD
  • 14″ single disc refiner
  • Instrumentation: Control valves; power meter; magnetic flow meers; pressure and temperature; gap position sensor
  • 150 HP refiner motor with VFD
  • Wide range of FineBar plates

Capabilities include rapid demonstration of pulp quality response to refining, and paper testing, chemistry, and advanced imaging facilities on site.
Applications include optimizing fibre quality and energy use, product development, and fundamental studies.

To learn more, please visit the Fibre Lab website here.