Decarbonisation options for the Dutch paper and board industry

This report on decarbonisation options for the paper and board industry is part of the MIDDEN project (Manufacturing Industry Decarbonisation Data Exchange Network) initiated by PBL and ECN part of TNO. The project aims to support industry, policymakers, analysts and the energy sector in their common efforts to achieve deep decarbonisation.

Paper and board production in the Netherlands

This report describes the current situation of the Dutch paper and board production and the options and conditions for its decarbonisation. There are 21 paper and board producing mills in the Netherlands. They produced more than 3 million tonnes in 2017. The total CO2 emission of the sector was a little over 1 Mton CO2eq in 2017.

Decarbonisation options

There are several promising decarbonisation technologies:

  • Compression refining (currently in the pilot scale phase of development).
  • Heat pumps as an efficiency option that convert low temperature waste heat into high temperature heat.
  • Air-laid technology allows for paper production without using water.
  • Ultra-deep geothermal has potential to produce steam for paper and board mills.
  • Microwave drying is a potential electrification technology for the drying process of the paper and board production.
  • Various other technological options are under development, both within the sector (e.g. enhanced dewatering) as well as general technologies that might be applicable in several sectors (e.g. vapor recompression).

Mapping decarbonisation options is an ongoing process. The MIDDEN project will update and elaborate further on options in the future, in close connection with the industry.


Kendra Rademaker and Marc Marsidi


Publication title
Decarbonisation options for the Dutch paper and board industry
Publication date
29 August 2019
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