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        Last update : January 06, 2006
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            1 - O3 Bleaching: status of development & recent advances            
Michel Muguet (Air Liquide)

Site Web de l'EFPGIt took about 20 years for oxygen to be widely accepted as a major bleaching chemical and today it is not conceivable to build or rebuild a pulp mill without including an O2 delignification stage. When Union Camp announced officially that a new O3 based process were to be launched in 1992 as an answer to a very specific environmental situation*, the whole industry did probably not perceive that a major evolution was taking place. Today with more than 25 mills worldwide using ozone on a continuous basis, we can reasonably say that this chemical has been accepted as a new standard bleaching agent. 

Over the years, main drivers explain this evolution ; eliminating every chlorinated bleaching compounds in order to produce the so called TCF pulps has been the main focus during the first part of the 90’s. A buoyant activity was recorded at that time at lab as well as industrial scale but experiences were not all connected with full success. The TCF era came to an almost end and the development of ozone took another direction ; today most mills using ozone have integrated it in a ECF sequence. 

Reasons why ozone is becoming a standard bleaching agent are many :
- improved ozone generation efficiency
- reliable on site production plants
- high availability of ozone “on tap”
- established ozone / pulp mixing technologies at both medium & high consistency
- successful integration of those in ECF bleaching processes
- cost effectiveness
- excellent safety records,...

* C FreeTM process

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