A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

Sustainable circular bioeconomy – Feasibility of recycled nutrients for biomass production within a pulp and paper integration in Indonesia, South-East Asia

Open Access publication

Publication Details

Authors: Mikkilä Mirja, Utanun Papitchaya, Luhas Jukka, Horttanainen Mika, Linnanen Lassi

Publisher: MDPI

Publication year: 2021

Language: English

Related journal or series: Sustainability

Volume number: 13

Issue number: 18

eISSN: 2071-1050

JUFO level of this publication: 1

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su131810169

Open Access: Open Access publication


Sustainable biomass production based on efficient carbon and nutrient recycling is crucial in material efficient, sustainable biobased production. A circular bioeconomy model of replacement of mineral fertilizers with recycled nutrients from pulp and paper mill sludge is tested here within a hypothetical case from Indonesia, South-East Asia. First, the financial feasibility of the use of recycled nutrients originating from pulp and paper processes was analyzed in fast growing pulpwood production. Secondly, the comprehensive social and environmental benefits of the practice were analyzed through qualitative sustainability analysis. The availability of the basic material of all required parameters referring to Indonesia limited the analysis period in 1996-2013. The establishment costs of a pulpwood plantation were adjusted according to a reference study, while the other data was compiled from various sources. The financial profitability of the circular model was analysed by using two indicators, net present value (NPV) and internal rate on return (IRR). The application of sludge-based recycled nutrients increased slightly the establishment costs in some circumstances, but no direct impact on the financial profitability, as the financial profitability was not sensitive to the establishment costs. The results showed that the financial profitability of biomass production is not sensitive to the plantation establishment and management costs. The profitability depends on the mean annal increment and product price. The qualitative analysis showed the holistic value of the practice that goes beyond the direct benefits. The use of sludge-based recycled nutrients in the pulpwood production closed the economic loop, which is illustrative of the circular bioeconomy within the integrated pulp and paper sector including the raw material source, forest plantation.

Last updated on 2021-21-10 at 13:24