API Announces First Commercial Implementation of GreenBox+ Technology 

June 22, 2015 |

american-processIn Georgia, American Process announced the implementation of API’s GreenBox+ technology in this project has been selected as part of major investments by Cascades, in a biorefinery project at its Norampac-Cabano facility.

This project – worth a total of $26M – represents a major advance in biorefinery development in Canada. Backed by a $10M investment from Natural Resources Canada’s Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program and an additional $4.4M from the Québec Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, the Cabano plant will replace its current process – the production of sodium carbonate-based chemical pulp – with this new, more environmentally friendly and economical one that was developed in conjunction with a U.S. partner. This innovative new process – a Canadian first – will be implemented in retrofit to the existing Cabano mill.

With GreenBox+ hemicelluloses are extracted from wood chips to make a chemical free and high yield corrugated medium pulp. Via GreenBox+ technology, the Cabano mill will replace its existing sodium carbonate-based chemical process, reducing its environmental footprint and realizing cost savings in terms of reduced energy consumption. Key success factors of GreenBox+ include cost effective treatment of the extract, being able to return consistent pulp quality to the paper machine with uninterrupted operation, and an effective energy integration of ethanol production with biopower.


Hemicellulose, a natural polymer found in plant cell walls, presents myriad opportunities ranging from power generation to biofuels such as ethanol, as well as the production of natural sugar-based value-added products.

Cascades is a leader in the recovery of recyclable materials and manufacturing of green packaging products and tissue paper.

The GreenBox+ thermomechanical process solution with hemicellulose hydrolysis and extraction was developed using a staged and systematic collaborative development approach including full-scale trials. GreenBox+ pulping is currently being demonstrated at the Thomaston Biorefinery in Thomaston, Georgia, and the process is currently under construction in collaboration with leading equipment supplier and API partner Valmet. GreenBox+ technology is a variation of API’s technologies, which also include GreenPower+, GreenPower++ and GreenPower3+. These green technologies have wide applications in the renewable materials and fuels fields – ranging from corrugated pulp mills to pulp mill biomass boilers to 2G-ethanol production from cane.

Reaction from stakeholders

“American Process is pleased to have worked with Cascades, Valmet and EnVertis Consulting in the first commercial implementation of GreenBox+ – one of our configurations of our GreenPower+ pretreatments”, stated Theodora Retsina, the CEO of API. “GreenPower+ pretreatments are robust, using thermomechanical configurations, conventional pulp and paper equipment and API’s intellectual property, to create value-added products from the different fractions of biomass. At the Cabano facility, the value-added products are hemicellulosic sugars for downstream conversion and corrugating medium. Our future GreenPower+ project configurations will include the production of ethanol, building on GreenPower+ pretreatments and the technology demonstrated at the Alpena Biorefinery in Michigan. We congratulate Cascades in this pioneering move and look forward to our continued collaboration.”

“We are pleased to have played a significant role in the development and ultimate implementation of this first commercial scale GreenBox+ plant with our partner American Process Inc. and our long time and valued innovative customer Cascades Inc. The basis for our delivery is our well-proven semi chemical pulping technology customized to meet the cooking and refining requirements of the API GreenBox+ process technology,” according to Garth Russell responsible for Biomass Conversion and Mechanical Pulping Technologies at Valmet in North America. “This type of project confirms our commitment to the industry we serve to diversify our customer’s product portfolio and improve their bottom line while at the same time reducing their carbon footprint.”

“Cascades is once again pleased with this pioneering achievement in the areas of innovation and sustainable development, especially within the four walls of one of its original facilities,” said Cascades CEO Mario Plourde. “This project represents a unique advance in biorefinery technological development. This new process will enable improvements in the efficiency and competitiveness of our Cabano plant’s current corrugated paper production process, thus making existing jobs more secure.” “This investment is another example of how our government is helping Canada’s forest industry bring innovative, high-value products to the marketplace, increasing Canada’s global competitiveness and protecting jobs in the local community,” declared the Honourable Greg Rickford, federal Minister of Natural Resources. “This investment reflects the importance of the diversification of forest products for the industry and, at the same time, for various government jurisdictions. These are the kind of technological advances that will enable our forest industry to differentiate itself and that will also create prosperity for our regions,” declared Laurent Lessard , Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks.

“This collaboration will enable improvements in the efficiency and competitiveness of our Cabano plant”, said Luc Pelletier, Cabano mill manager.

“We feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with Norampac-Cabano over the last years to develop this innovative strategy”, declared Virginie Chambost, President of EnVertis. “The path forward for the Cabano site looks very exciting”.

“Norampac supported our NSERC Chair in Design Engineering starting in 2008, and it is thrilling to see innovative projects identified at the university level come to fruition through the application of our product and process design methodologies”, said Paul Stuart, Professor of Chemical Engineering at École Polytechnique.

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