Our economy is still for the most part generating products and services using fossil fuels, which after their 'economic' or 'technical' life hardly will be reused. The transition to an economy based on renewable sources still requires the design and creation of completely new products. The paper industry is ideally suited for such a move: Paper is after all a bio based product, wherein the cellulosic material is green resource, processed in the form of wood or waste paper.
Because the paper production requires both a lot of water and a lot of energy, we developed a long tradition of sustainable use of water and energy within the industry.
At the location of Parenco a transition could eventually take place, where the existing production process of paper making is expanded to other activities that further improve the sustainability of energy and enable the creation of new bio based raw materials, intermediates, and products. Biomass such as wood for example, and (shoulder) grass, as well as side streams from the current production of paper may be converted into cellulose-rich streams. From these cellulosic streams industrial sugars can be produced through including new enzyme technology. Such industrial sugars can in turn be converted into new products. Several residues of the above processes can finally be converted into energy in various forms.
Parenco is supported by the province of Gelderland, which makes it possible to set the first steps in exploring the potential at the location Parenco in a study by Royal Haskoning, DHV. This study also looks at the possibilities for the development of a Biorefinery Campus, which may connect with the existing infrastructure and expertise in the region Wageningen.
In the context of further sustainability of energy consumption, research is also conducted by IF technology to Ultra Deep Geothermal Energy (EGS). By applying such techniques for the generation of energy Parenco can produce CO2 neutral paper. Geothermal energy as a renewable energy source is in line with the Green deal between the Province of Gelderland and the Ministry EL & I to make the energy demand in the province more sustainable.