Wood insulation!

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I have sat in on several of their webinars. The bought a complete facility in Europe and moved it over to the US during Covid. I think the batt insulation is going to take away a lot of business from fiberglass. I really havent heard how competitive they are on pricing. Its actually tech that started out in the US, the mill I worked for in Berlin NH has a R&D facility that could make the fluff pulp about 30 years ago. The company that owned the mill had no interest in making it.

Timber HP is running late on the board product. I think its going to be popular.
I hate dealing with fiberglass. I’d be happy to never touch it again.
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I hate dealing with fiberglass. I’d be happy to never touch it again.
With you on the fiberglass. The Madison project is one more effort to convert closed Maine paper mills to facilities using newer production technologies, certainly newer than paper making. Looks like they have got a great start with Certinteed committing to carrying their insulation. The old Lincoln Pulp and Paper mill has been slated to house a biorefinery to produce ethyl levulinate which apparently can be used to keep biodiesel flowing at cold temps. Like the Peregrine project at the old GNP mill in Millinocket biochar is said to be a biproduct of Lincoln’s proposed project.

I don’t live in any of these communities but still have some curiosity about the mills. Back in another life or at least career track I would, for a few years, take some vacation from my regular job to go to work replacing and repairing machinery during the mills’ annual week long summer shutdowns. This was for a large corporation that contracted with the mills. I also did a brief stint on call at the Lincoln mill when I lived closer. For the shutdowns the pay was very good and with 12 hour days and double time plus on Sundays it was a nice boost for the family. The Madison mill was an amazingly clean place to work compared to the rest.
The Madison Mill was originally an old papermill that was marginally competitive with lots of labor management issues. During one particularly troublesome strike,, the owners gave a final offer to the union and the union rejected it and the owners shut it down. I do not know what grades of paper but my guess was newsprint. A few years later, an entrepreneur from Maine along with the New York Times and a European paper company invested in a new type of technology to make a low grade white paper out of groundwood versus chemical pulp. It was far less costly to make and was used by the New York Times to print low grade color. At the time I think it was the first mill in US to do so. The mill was gutted and lot of money got pumped into it. The new owners rehired staff from scratch (if had been shut down long enough that many of the workers had moved away and got new jobs. The place made good money and labor relations were good.

They did well for 20 years until other mills around the country chased the same market and spent big bucks to rebuild and build new machines. The product eventually became a commodity grade and the New York Times along with the rest of the news industry saw the sharp decline in demand for newspapers with the rise of the internet and eventually the mill became uncompetitive. The folks who bought the Millinocket mills bet their company on building the latest and greatest papermachine to make a similar but higher graded product 20 years late and timed it right when the market declined. They were short on bucks and eventually went bankrupt. Unlike Madison, despite years of proposed projects, both East Millinocket and Millinocket are still vacant

The Lincoln project has been pretty quiet, the technology is known, it just cannot compete with fossil based fuel. Until the market premium gets high enough for non fossil fuels in the long term, my guess is it is on the back burner until after the next election.

Papermills were very expensive to run so anytime they were not putting out product it was costly, therefore when they did an outage, they paid a premium to get things done. As an engineer at a large pulp and papermill I got real good at figuring out how to get thing done real quickly. Definitely not cheap but very quick.
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Thanks for the very interesting history lesson!
Looks like an intriguing product... but why not just use cellulose insulation made from recycled paper... same feedstock essentially, rather than virgin wood for this? Or can is use wood products not suitable for paper production?
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Maybe this is an additional use for waste products? Maybe there are fears of less supply in the future as there is less newsprint being manufactured?

Choice never seems to be a bad thing.
I think this is a great product, and use of existing workforce and to a lesser extent infrastructure. Really for this to take off we need some minimum “green” content requirements for new construction.
Timber HP is made out of low grade waste wood. Newsprint is made out of groundwood. Groundwood is a weaker fiber than one made out of the process they use. When newsprint is recycled, the fibers get weaker. A fresh from the woods fiber is going to be fluffier than a recycled fiber. In theory that means better R value per pound.
How do the fire properties compare between cellulose, this stuff, and glass fiber?

I have been loathe the put cellulose in my attic from r this reason. I prefer not to have fluffy combustibles in my walls either...

Looks like that is not a concern. Then again if its just adding borate, why wouldnt the ground cellulose folks do the same?
they do as well as anti fungal items . In the long run cellulose is better than fiberglass. Doesn't allow air migration, and does not change R value as the temps drop unlike fiberglass. It is also a better sound abatement item. Additionally cellulose can be wet packed in wall cavities ,ceilings also. it is self supporting.