Energy usage in a Through-Air-Dried (TAD) premium-tissue product utilizing recycled fiber
Does the inclusion of recycled fiber in the Through-Air-Dried (TAD) manufacturing process of a virgin-fiber premium-grade tissue product positively impact the manufacturing process and product? This question is explored by varying combinations of recycled fiber in a premium-tissue virgin-fiber furnish and measuring the impact on dewatered consistency and other important tissue quality attributes of tensile strength, permeability, modulus (Slope A) and caliper. The study indicates that the addition of even a minimal amount of recycled fiber into premium virgin-fiber furnishes negatively impacts dewatering and therefore requires more energy in the drying phase of the manufacturing process. Product quality attributes are negatively impacted as well. The common perception that using recycled fiber in a premium product is environmentally beneficial is also not an absolute conclusion for premium TAD products. The type of fiber available, the equipment utilized, recycling events and ultimate product disposal, are all factors requiring consideration for optimum environmental benefit.