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Ensuring a sustainable future for recycling in the paper value chain (SRPV)

Paper based products often require thin films of plastic to serve as a waterproof barrier. In an effort to make products more recyclable, there has been a push towards to a) reduction in the use of ‘Single Use Plastics’ and b) ensuring that future products are ‘recyclable’ by allowing the reuse of the valuable high-quality fibre resources. As a result, a range of solutions have been developed to offer similar barrier properties, whilst reducing/eliminating the use of conventional plastics and not interfering with the release of fibres, such as nanocellulose. Options include sustainably sourced
plant polymers (waxes), custom polymer products and dispersion coatings.

Many of these possess unique chemical characteristics not previously encountered in modern papermaking, which may affect the complex chemical balance found at the wet end of the paper machine, or present new, as yet unidentified challenges as the chemicals pass through the paper mill system and are (potentially) discharged with the effluent waters.

This project involves examining the implications of a barrier coating material which is entrained in the structure of the fibrous sheet, or has left the paper mill system with the wastewater. The partners in this proposal are seeking to gather basic information regarding the key chemical types found in these emerging products, to allow informed decisions to be made at an early stage of the paper production process.

Dr. Hassan Ahmad

Brunel University London

Published: November 8th, 2022
Posted in projects

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