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Alternative Energy Sources and Paper Production

Glatfelter and the pulp and paper industry will continue to serve as a role model for the efficient use of fuels.

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Electricity Used For Production:
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Glatfelter’s pulp and paper making operations have been running in part on alternative energy for decades. At our large integrated Kraft mills in Spring Grove and Chillicothe, alternative energy is used every day to make both steam and electricity using the very efficient cogeneration process.

What is Cogeneration?
Cogeneration is the use of a heat engine or a power station to simultaneously generate both electricity and useful heat, which can be used in the manufacturing process. Cogeneration is a thermodynamically efficient use of fuel. Compared to a typical electric generating plant, the cogeneration process is more efficient because more energy in the steam is used. Combined heat and power (CHP) is a term that can be used interchangeably with cogeneration.


Benefits of Cogeneration/CHP

  • Reduced energy costs through more efficient utilization of the energy in steam.
  • Reduced air and water pollution.
  • Reduced environmental impact from condensing steam into water.

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Cogeneration Efficiency
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spacer As illustrated, a combined heat and power system (also called a cogeneration system) such as the one found at the Spring Grove mill is more energy-efficient compared to the conventional methods of producing an equivalent amount of electricity and steam.
Source: EPA
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Note: Assumes national averages for grid electricity and incorporates electric transmission losses.
Source: Tina Kaarsberg and Joseph Roop, “Combined Heat and Power: How Much Carbon and Energy Can It Save for Manufacturers?”

Improving Energy Efficiency

In addition to the use of cogeneration and renewable fuels, Glatfelter is continuously improving its energy and carbon footprint by improving its manufacturing equipment and operations. For example, in 2007, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Glatfelter’s Spring Grove facility cooperated in a project to replace the press section of the Number 7 Paper Machine, significantly reducing the steam required for drying the paper manufactured on that machine.


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