00:08:03 - 00:13:09 Projects
projects, satisfaction, interesting, pulping, bleaching, environment, techniques, fiber loading, biopulping; Kirk, T. Kent; Koning, John; recycling; Klungness, John H.
I guess do you have any particular projects that you worked on that you found really exciting?
I think everything I worked on the last fifteen years were extraordinarily exciting and I think they were kind of breakthrough topics like more environmentally inclined, it was to replace the chemicals for pulping and bleaching and recycling with more environmentally sound methods like enzymes or hydrogen peroxide for bleaching. And so everything was new and although some people had been doing it, none of these techniques were being used commercially so it was just kind of ground work on some of these things that made it very exciting. I would take journals home and I did a lot of work at home just because I was so enthusiastic about what was happening. Fiber loading was another project that I worked on and that too was innovative and part of the team that got a patent on that work that we did. I think that was the start of working on teams and the whole thing was more interdisciplinary, which was a nice experience that I hadn't had before. I worked on, from the beginning of biopulping, for instance and that was a very exciting time working with both the economists and the engineers and the biochemists, [industrial partners] and obviously we all had to translate [the special expertise] to the application and the wood chips and the screening of the fungi. So that was very exciting and I think that was a real opportunity when I guess Kent Kirk and John Koning invited me to join the team. And at different times I did many different things for that group and that was probably exponential learning for me and that was very, very nice. Same thing with the bleach work, I---actually that's what prompted the bleach work. The bio pulping project darkened the woodchips and so they had to be bleached and so that's when I learned how to bleach [mechanical] wood pulp. We wanted to do it to preserve the lignin and do it environmentally sound so that's where hydrogen peroxide primarily came in, [no harmful byproducts].
It sounds like a whole array.
And what time period generally was this?
This was in the '80s, late '80s, mid to late '80s and going all through the '90s. About that same time recycling became big just because landfills were being filled so rapidly the amount of paper that everybody used was much too much. I just felt well since it was too expensive to throw away pulp and to throw away paper, which could definitely be reused and recycling was obviously was the best way to do this and the [existing recycling] techniques they were using on it was recycled, tossed in so many chemicals that again were very harmful to the [effluent] waters that came out of the mill and it was kind of defeating some of the environmental impact by doing this is why we started using enzymes for de-inking and that too is an innovative idea, Tom Jeffries and [John Klungness were] the ones who introduced [this technology], his pet phanarochaete crysosporism, you've probably heard that many, many times. That was what they started with and oh then screened many other fungi to see which was the best.
I digress. This was really back from bio pulping but also this was the same contact that I used for, that we started some enzymatic work for de-inking. Mistake, sorry.