The pulp and paper industry poses major environmental challenges, which were the focus of the 8th Forest Industry Wastewaters Symposium: this covered several topics at the leading edge of pulp and paper mills wastewater treatment and ranging from fundamental studies through to mill-scale application. Among the main concerns of the industry regarding liquid effluent treatment were: better understanding of effluent composition and toxicity effects; use of membrane technology in the industry; advanced oxidation processes; microbial dynamics of activated sludge reactors and the role of nutrients; removal of colour and recalcitrant organic matter; and the growing role for anaerobic treatment in the future for the paper industry. The need for further research was highlighted in several areas, especially those related to the removal of recalcitrant organic matter in the effluent, the removal of non-process elements in order to enable water recycling, novel treatment processes to the industry. Significant progress was reported in both currently used processes and in concepts that are novel for the industry.
From the high-quality programme 28 papers were selected, following full peer review, for these proceedings, which will be of particular interest to the environmental specialist community of pulp and paper industries, including process engineers, technicians, researchers and consultants in this area.