Effect of biomass-based carbon capture on the sustainability and economics of pulp and paper production in the Nordic mills

Katja Kuparinen*, Satu Lipiäinen, Esa Vakkilainen, Timo Laukkanen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)


Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is one of the key negative emission technologies (NETs). Large-scale implementation of BECCS has been criticized of the associated increase in land use. The existing large Nordic pulp and paper production units enable BECCS deployment without additional land use, as they currently release large amounts of bio-based carbon dioxide (CO2). The application of BECCS in pulp mills has been found technically feasible in earlier studies. This study explores key factors that affect the propensity to invest in BECCS in different types of existing European pulp and paper mills. The results give fresh understanding on the effects of BECCS on the market price of pulp and paper products and the required level of incentives. Based on statistical data, the marginal carbon dioxide credit (€ per ton CO2) to make BECCS profitable was derived. The results show that the required level of credit greatly depends on the mill type and details and that the feasibility of BECCS does not clearly correlate with the economic performance or the measured efficiency of the mill. The most promising mill type, a market kraft pulp mill, would find BECCS profitable with a credit in the range of 62–70 €/tCO2 and a credit of 80 €/tCO2 would decrease pulp production costs by 15 €/tproduct on average if 50% of CO2 emissions was captured. The EU Emission Trading System (ETS) is the main policy instrument to achieve the climate targets related to fossil energy use, but does not yet contemplate bio-based emissions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-668
Number of pages21
JournalEnvironment, Development and Sustainability
Issue number1
Early online date4 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage BECCS
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Emission trade
  • Negative CO emissions
  • Pulp mill


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