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FPS COST Action E23
Biotechnology in the pulp and paper industry

The main objective of the Action was to promote the development and application of biotechnical methods in pulping, bleaching and paper and board manufacturing processes by increasing knowledge of biocatalysts and their applications. The aim was furthermore, to critically evaluate the bottlenecks and general applicability of these technologies. Thus, the Action aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the pulp and paper industry by advancing the use of specific and environmentally benign biotechnical methods.

In the area of discovery of new enzymes and organisms it has been useful to get the scientific communities working with hydrolytic and oxidative enzymes, as well as with the new organisms to exchange information and views with each other. New interesting enzymes (especially oxidoreductases, i.e. laccases and peroxidases) have been identified and their properties evaluated. Significant progress in the area has taken place through better understanding of the oxidative; i.e., electron transfer mechanisms. The general aim was to develop more thermostable enzymes, suitable for mill operation. Successful work on more efficient production systems was also carried out. The major application areas of enzymes in Europe are the pre-treatment technologies for energy and chemical savings, enzyme-aided bleaching systems and de-inking technologies. As part of the discussions during the Action, the needs of the P&P industry was relieved.

Combinations of new enzymatic methods with mechanical or chemical process steps can be used to improve the process economy or to upgrade the fibre properties. New products could be developed based on the specific modifications obtained by enzymatic methods. The European activities within the pulp and paper biotechnology area have been highlighted by the high number of European presentations in the two International Conferences on Biotechnology in the Pulp and Paper Industry (ICBPPI) held during the lifetime of the COST E 23 Action (Helsinki, Finland 2001 and Durban, South Africa 2004). European scientists have presented about 60% of the scientific input of the meetings and members of the COST Action E23 have actively participated in organizing the ICBPPI meetings.

(Descriptions are provided by the Actions directly via e-COST.)

General Information*

Chair of the Action:

Prof Liisa VIIKARI (FI)

Science officer of the Action:


Administrative officer of the Action:



Action Fact Sheet

Download AFS as .RTF

Memorandum of Understanding

Download MoU as PDF


* content provided by e-COST.
Data is synchronised once per night.


Last updated: 02 May 2011 top of page