In order to achieve the program objectives, the structure has been broken down into nine academic projects surrounding three research themes.  HQP have been working on specific projects in their field with supervising faculty members.

1. Process Optimization

1.1 Compression screw feed optimization and energy savings in HC refining

Objective:  Develop an understanding of optimally effective Impressafiner operation. First, we aim to understand the effect of Impressafiner operating conditions (with varying feed properties and chemical treatments) on Impressafiner products. We will then develop a method to characterize Impressafiner product materials. Finally, optimal conditions for different types of feed chips and products will be determined.

1.2 Fibre separation through low energy processes

Objective:  To determine the optimal conditions for both hardwood and softwood during “fiberizing” and demonstrate the energy savings potential of optimal impressafining, fiberizing and HC refining in both the pilot and mill trials.

1.3 Optimization of chemical charge distribution throughout the process

Objective: Determine the chemical charges and treatment conditions that are required at various locations in the ‘future low energy’ mechanical pulping process to obtain the desired pulp properties at the lowest energy and costs.

1.4 Advanced fractionation and low consistency refining

Objective: Determine the optimal LC refining conditions (gap, plate, power, etc.) for a broad range of fibre coarseness and length (fractionated pulps and different species, including hardwood and softwood) and to determine the energy-saving potential of fractionation and multi-stage LC refining. The approach is to breakdown the observed refining effects of fibres as a function of the number and intensity of bar-bar crossings.

2. System integration, sensing and control

2.1 Optimization and control of the new TMP process

Objective: The primary objective of this project is to develop and implement novel economic and distributed model predictive control strategies in multistage low consistency refining to reduce energy consumption. A secondary objective is to improve the pulp quality by minimizing its variance through use of soft sensors that are built using image, magnetic and bar force sensors. All of these strategies will be integrated into a high-level supervisory/optimization scheme to ensure optimal quality while consuming minimum energy and meeting process safety and quality constraints.

2.2 LC refiner bar force sensor based control strategies

Objective: The objective of this part of the project is to develop control strategies based on data from the Refiner Force Sensor (RFS) to minimize electrical energy consumption in mechanical pulping.. A bar force sensor capable of measuring shear and normal forces on the bars will be installed at the UBC pilot refiner to capture the bar crossing events and characteristics of these events.

2.3 Advanced Pump performance monitoring system

Objective: The goal of this project is to develop a complete pump performance monitoring system that includes advanced sensor package and software analysis tool to continually monitor the pump efficiency and structural wear by accurately measuring temperature, pressure, pump vibration and impeller wear simultaneously.

 3. Product development

3.1 Evaluation of LCR pulp for the production of printing and writing grades

Objective: We aim to gain fundamental understanding of the mechanism of improvement in the scattering coefficient of ATMP LCR pulps, and to optimize refining energy versus filler addition to achieve the desired brightness and opacity of ATMP LCR papers.

3.2 LCR pulp for packaging papers

 Objective: For this project, we aim to gain fundamental understanding of the bulk‐roughness relationship for ATMP LCR pulps, and to assess the utilization of ATMP LCR pulp in the production of folding boxboard