Close
Skip to content

Research & Development

South African pulp and paper mills can use their raw materials, process waste and processes to make bio-based additives, chemicals, plastics and fuels.

The PRU oversees all research and innovation-related projects on behalf of its members, in partnership with a number of South African universities and institutions.

Some 60% of all trees planted for commercial use are used by the pulp and paper industry, yet a large proportion of biomass is left behind on harvesting (branches, leaves, bark). By re-engineering and optimising processes, the PRU seeks to extract the full benefit of the tree and other by-products from pulp and papermaking.

The planet, animals, plants and humanity are facing a multitude of challenges as the impacts of climate change become ever more apparent and destructive.

PAMSA’s research programme through the Process Research Unit (PRU) seeks to harness and expand on the potential of trees and their products.

Not only is tree growth a natural way to sequester carbon from the environment but sustainably grown wood fibre (whether as timber, pulp or paper) is recognised as the ultimate renewable.

We are all familiar with the traditional paper products that are part of our everyday life but the sector, both at home and aboard, is finding new and innovative ways that cellulose can be used to generate products that can substitute petrochemical based products.

Flagship Programmes and Partnerships

Masters of Engineering Bursary and Research Programme

Every year, the PAMSA Master of Engineering bursary programme accepts applications from Bachelor of Science chemical engineering final-year students or graduates. A limited number of students will have the opportunity to complete their master’s studies at participating universities by way of a R260 000 bursary over two years.

By supporting young engineers, we are developing the skills required to turn products of the imagination into real word innovation.

Research Archive

Masters students in PAMSA’s bursary and research programme have explored various aspects of the pulp and paper industry, including the tremendous value that can be generated by turning what was once regarded as waste into environmentally sustainable products.

View all publications here, and view our most recent publications below:

Department of Science and Innovation

The pulp and paper sector has partnered with the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) through the Sector Innovation Fund to promote research, development and innovation.  DSI and PAMSA’s PRU are co-funding R9 million for research and development of high-value bio-products from paper residues and waste streams over a three year period with Tshwane University of Technology, Vaal University of Technology, University of Pretoria and UNISA.

Through this project,  the chemical engineering students are working towards their postgraduate qualification.

International Council of Forest and Paper Associations Blue Sky Young Researchers Awards

This is a biennial call for submissions for eligible researchers and students from across the country. Member countries submit their national winners to the international round. The top three international participants have the opportunity to present their projects to global CEOs in the forestry, pulp and paper industry.

Read more here.

TAPPSA Journal archive

The Technical Association for the Pulp and Paper Industry of South Africa (TAPPSA) closed its doors and the TAPPSA Journal at the end of 2018. We have created an archive of past issues and articles.

VISIT PAGE