Winners Announced in CMPC Pulp Mill Sludge Efficiency Challenge

December 14, 2022

December 14, 2022: In September, Foresight launched a circular economy challenge with CMPC, one of the biggest worldwide pulp and paper companies with 47 industrial plants across eight countries. The challenge sought innovative solutions to recover fibers from the waste water sludge produced during CMPC’s manufacturing process. After a detailed review of applicants from five countries, CMPC has selected the following winners for their Pulp Mill Sludge Efficiency Challenge:

  1. Yilkins Drying Systems (Netherlands)
  2. C-Green (Sweden)

To recover high-potential materials, CMPC was seeking a dehydration system that could turn the existing liquid pulp and paper mill sludge into dry, manipulable materials to be reused for new purposes. The two winning solutions will work together, with Yilkins’ solution recovering fibers from primary sludge, and C-Green solving circular economy challenges in secondary sludge.

The Solutions

Yilkins’ drying process has a proven capability to dry high-moisture sludges (up to 65% moisture) as long as the input can be turned into fluidizable particles. Higher moisture contents usually require mechanical moisture removal. The Yilkins two-step fluidized bed swirl drying process typically uses only 50% of the energy of traditional drying technologies, and has proven to be able to dry sludges with a moisture content of 60-65%. 

C-Green’s OxyPower HTC™ combines two established technologies: hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) and wet oxidation, creating an ideal solution for wet biowaste handling.  The process operates in an energy efficient manner, simplifies nitrogen and phosphorous recovery, and produces a multi-purpose hydro-char that can be used as a biofuel. The process is self-sustaining, creating all of the heat energy required by the HTC process through an innovative application of wet oxidation.  

The Circular Bioeconomy Opportunity

With the circular bioeconomy projected to be a $7.7 trillion opportunity by 2030, this Challenge offered a unique opportunity for ventures to showcase their bioeconomy experience to an international client. 

Through bioeconomy innovation, Canada has the opportunity to elevate competitive advantages in the forestry, pulp and paper, and agriculture sectors, and to use the existing innovation ecosystem to create a thriving market for bioproducts. 


“Conserving resources and recovering valuable, scarce, and high-potential materials is in everyone’s best interest as we transition to a green economy. We are proud to have supported CMPC to find solutions that recover fibers from their global network of pulp and paper mills, and hope that this Challenge inspires others in their industry to adopt similar practices.” – Jeanette Jackson, CEO, Foresight Canada

“We’re pleased that our Challenge has identified new techniques to recover valuable products from the wastewater sludges produced during our manufacturing process. Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all the applicants that took their time to present their interesting solutions. We are looking forward to working with C-Green and Yilkins to co-create a pilot proposal”. Mariana Parody,  Transformation Manager, CMPC

"Biosludge from industry and municipalities is a huge environmental burden in terms of GHGs, loss of nutrients, and transportation of large amounts of water. These problems are eliminated with our OxyPower HTC process. This Challenge presented an innovative and convenient opportunity to work with one of the world's largest pulp and paper companies. In this industry, our technology can solve the sludge and bio ash challenges to transform environmental problems into fertilizer." Peter Axegård, Senior advisor, C-Green

"Yilkins is very pleased with our selection as co-winner of the CMPC Challenge. I am convinced that Yilkins' novel biomass and sludge drying solutions can help CMPC and the pulp and paper industry, in general, to improve their sustainability and carbon emission profile by significantly reducing the energy required for drying high-moisture waste streams and recovering valuable raw materials. Yilkins is looking forward to working closely together with CPMC to investigate further the realization of the specific improvements identified during this challenge." Rob Voncken, CEO, Yilkins Drying Systems

The Pulp Mill Sludge Efficiency Challenge is in partnership with Foresight Canada and CMPC. 

About CMPC:

CMPC produces and commercializes products based on pulp, paper, wood, and tissue. 

The company was established in 1920 with the production of papers and cardboards. Today, it commercializes its products through its three main businesses: pulp, biopackaging, and Softys (tissue products), reaching more than 26.700 direct clients around the world.

CMPC has 47 industrial plants in eight countries in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay, reaching 11 countries, including three commercial offices in the USA, Germany, and China.

CMPC’s corporate purpose —create, coexist, and conserve—, called 3C, is integral to the company’s way of doing business and guides its actions and operations towards a sustainable future on a day-to-day basis.

About Foresight Canada:

Foresight is Canada’s cleantech accelerator. Foresight supports the identification and validation of cleantech opportunities and the successful commercialization of solutions. We bring together industry, government, academia, investors, and innovators to address today’s most urgent climate issues and support a global transition to a green economy. Find out more at Follow on Twitter @ForesightCAC.

Media Contacts

Foresight Canada:
Kaitie Unwin
[email protected]