The manufacturers of pulps must answer to the following three necessary requirements:

• environment protection

• pulp quality

• production cost reduction

If up to the present time, the environmental constraints have been emphasized (e.g. dioxin in late 1980's) over the two other criteria, namely quality and cost, today the challenge for the next years will be to improve each of these factors without weakening the other two.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the respective merits of the various pulp manufacturing processes with the criteria expressed above and to draw the research and development efforts to undertake in this situation. Some personal opinions will be given on the issues.

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