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The Important Paper Mill

A paper mill is a type of factory that makes paper from wood pulp and other special ingredients. This is accomplished through a variety of special machines, including a tree chipper, a digester, and a Fourdrinier machine. Due to the Kraft process used to separate the lignin from the plant products used in the paper making process resulting in a sulfur byproduct, paper mills are associated with unpleasant smells.

The History of Paper Mills

The first known operating paper mill was in operation in 794 in Baghdad. From here, the technology spread to Europe. Today, paper mills use great amounts of water, energy, and wood and follow a complex process in order to produce paper. These modern machines are as much as 500 feet in length and move at speeds of over 100 mph, which makes them capable of producing sheets of paper as much as 400 inches wide.

The Fully-Integrated Paper Mill Versus Non-Integrated Paper Mills

A fully-integrated paper mill is one that receives forest logs or wood chips and processes them to the individual fiber level. The fully-integrated paper mill processes this fiber to a 4% pulp slurry, which is then made into a sheet of paper.

Non-integrated paper mills, on the other hand, purchase the pulp slurry after it has already been created at a pulp mill. When this is done, the pulp slurry is purchased and transported in a dried and baled form, which is called market pulp. These bales are rehydrated with into a 4% solution before processed into sheets of paper.

The Smell of Paper Mills

The undesirable smell associated with paper mills only occurs if the mill is also a pulp mill. In some cases, mills focus on only pulp processing or paper processing. All of the major mills, however, engage in both processes. The offensive smell is caused by the cooking process used to soften the pulp in order to form it into paper. Despite the bad smells they emit, the airborne particles are not harmful to a person’s health.