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Based in the South of England, Nafici Environmental Research (NER) has developed ground-breaking patented technology that transforms agricultural residues, such as wheat straw, into EcoPulp. EcoPulp is an excellent alternative to wood-based pulps used in the production of paper packaging materials.
Today, there is huge focus on reducing the world’s carbon footprint and the drain on natural resources such as water. NER’s patented technology has a positive impact as:
1 – Agricultural residues such as wheat straw can often be left to rot in the fields or burnt causing detrimental impact on soil and air quality. Repurposing the straw for EcoPulp ensures positive use of a valuable material.
2 – Water usage can be up to 95% lower versus traditional pulping processes.
3 – Energy usage is up to 50% lower versus traditional pulping processes.
Reducing the use of (fossil fuel based) virgin plastic materials is a must. As is a reduction in the levels of deforestation. Both have a detrimental impact on our ecosystem, especially the amount of CO2 we emit into the atmosphere. Finding new ‘low environmental impact’ packaging materials is critical.
EcoPulp can play a role in shaping the future of packaging as an alternative to plastic and wood. EcoPulp is a food grade material so can be used for moulded products such as food trays. Alternatively, it could be used for paper/board packaging such as corrugate cases and folding cartons. Studies have found that including just 5-10% EcoPulp mixed with recycled materials sees as 20-33% increase in material strength.
In February 2021, Hive acquired 50% of Nafici Environmental Research Ltd.
NER plans to build its first full-scale EcoPulping facility in England. A feasibility study and site search are due to commence immediately. Upon completion of the first UK site, NER will seek to expand further using Hive Energy’s international network. Also, NGL’s experience building EcoPulping plants in China will be beneficial for NER’s growth.
This initiative further builds on our recent circular economy partnerships; DBG Bioenergy in the Netherlands and Cuantec in Scotland. Both businesses also recycle industrial waste streams into exciting, valuable, and green products.