The Cascades-Cabano plant manufactures semi-chemical corrugated paper in Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac. Its initial process generated effluents whose management was costly and limiting in terms of the environment and the production capacity. The plant recently implemented a new innovative process, replacing the effluent by a hemicellulose-rich co-product. Based on current knowledge of the composition of hemicellulose liquor, the effluent could be used in agricultural production as an input, such as a biostimulant or a biofungicide. This project represents a breakthrough in value-added applications for hemicellulose, as there are currently no biostimulants made from this widespread biopolymer of the carbohydrate family.
The main objective of this project was to develop a proposition for the recovery of hemicellulose based on scientific data to serve as a basis for the development of long-term research program with the industrial partner. A four-part exploratory research on hemicellulose was carried out: (1) characterization of hemicellulose; (2) review of literature; (3) greenhouse crop trials; and (4) laboratory tests.
This project led to the definition of innovative applications for hemicellulose liquor. As for industrial synergies in Quebec, the project also contributed to the creation of unique new partnerships between the forest and agricultural industries. Environmental benefits are expected from the replacement of commonly used agricultural inputs.