WASHINGTON, D.C. — As a concept, NPulp—the revolutionary straw-pulp technology developed by Taiwan-based YFY Corp.—is the type of feel good sustainability story that attendees of the 16th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference in Washington, D.C. want to hear more about.
Why wouldn’t sustainability advocates, business managers and policy makers appreciate an innovative chemical process that converts a naturally abundant resource (straw) into pulp for paper making, a process that requires less energy and greatly reduces the amount of greenhouse gases produced? In addition, the technology creates new revenue streams and economic development opportunities for local farmers and their communities.
After more than 10 years of research and development, YFY Corp. has successfully moved NPulp from green chemistry concept to reality. The product and related economic sustainability program debut next month in China’s farm communities, where the straw will be collected and converted into straw pulp.
Through bio-pulping – a proprietary enzymatic process that eliminates the use of harsh chemicals when converting straw to straw pulp – YFY Corp. plans to take advantage of the more than 600 million tons of agricultural straw biomass available in China. That represents a potential supply of 345 million tons of biopulps, equal to the amount of wood pulp produced globally every year. In China, under current practices, after farmers harvest their crops, they are left with large amounts of residual straw, of which more than 90% is burned off to clear the fields for more planting. The burning straw contributes to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity to show green chemistry in action in ways that benefit all stakeholders,” said Ronald Allen, president of Mobius105, the exclusive distributor of NPulp. “The burning of straw creates two problems: massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions polluting the air and the destruction of a crop that would provide potential incremental revenue to the farmers. YFY Corp. created a system to collect and purchase the excess straw from farmers in China that discourages burning, protects the environment, brings economic development to rural communities that otherwise wouldn’t have it and provides our customers with the sustainable materials they need.”
Allen is very optimistic about NPulp’s commercial and environmental potential. He projects the model will be replicated globally, allowing for the expansion and production of straw-based pulp to support local farm communities in other countries. “The quality of the paper we produce with straw pulp is as good as or better than recycled wood pulp-based paper. We are already making it ready for use to produce corrugate cardboard, molded cushion packaging and other conventional paper products.”
NPulp is distributed globally by Mobius105, a wholly-owned subsidiary of YFYJupiter, one of Asia’s largest providers of integrated packaging, branding and print management services. YFYJupiter is majority owned by YFY Corp., a Taiwan-based conglomerate comprised of more than 90 companies that employs more than 10,000 persons worldwide.