Red Leaf Pulp Ltd., developer of a proprietary wheat straw-based pulp mill in central Saskatchewan, Canada, announced the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) results for its products. The LCA was concluded in March 2021 and prepared by NatureBank Asset Management Inc. in accordance with ISO 14040/14044.
NatureBank concluded that Red Leaf’s pulp has a significantly lower embodied carbon value than conventional wood-based, virgin and recycled pulps. The conventional pulps compared in the report included existing ag-pulps, and wood pulps including Chemi-Thermo Mechanical, Sulphate, Sulphite, Eucalyptus and Recycled Corrugated Cardboard.
Red Leaf’s pulp process measures 280 kg CO2e/tonne of GHG Emissions (per tonne of Air Dried Pulp), on a Cradle-to-Gate basis. That result compares very favourably against competing market pulps, which have embodied carbon emissions ranging up to 1,650 kg CO2e/tonne AD pulp.
The Cradle-to-Gate LCA method does not account for the additional downstream environmental benefits associated with Red Leaf’s co-products which are estimated by NatureBank to represent a further reduction of 238 kg CO2e/tonne. Inclusion of these benefits results in a Net GHG Emissions Impact of 42 kg CO2e/tonne of pulp produced by Red Leaf’s plant.
“We see tremendous advantages in the utilization of annual fibres to achieve climate change objectives while meeting the growing demand for natural products to replace plastic. This can be achieved without any change in land use or biodiversity, while supporting the food chain and creating additional value for producers.”, noted Martin Pudlas, CEO of Red Leaf Pulp. “Today, these feedstocks are being disposed of either by the consumption of fossil fuel or incineration. Our unique pathway represents enhanced utilization of existing natural resources and creates a truly circular economy.”
Red Leaf Pulp is scheduled to commence construction of its initial facility in central Saskatchewan in 2022, with commercial production commencing in 2023. The capital cost of the initial plant is approximately $300 million and will be funded by a combination of project debt, project equity, government funding and sponsors’ equity contributed by Fortune 500 corporate partners who remain confidential at this time.
ABOUT RED LEAF PULP LTD.
Red Leaf Pulp is developing the first non-wood pulp mill in Canada, producing a unique unbleached product demanded by the US$250 Billion paper and packaging market. Red Leaf was established in 2019 by Darby Kreitz, the founder of Allnorth Consultants, a 500-person engineering firm with offices across Canada and in Atlanta, GA. Allnorth has significant experience in the design and commissioning of non-wood pulp mills in the United States and Europe, in addition to their 25+ years providing engineering services to the conventional wood pulp and paper industry.