Microfibrillated Cellulose, a new dimension in papermaking

Microfibrillated Cellulose, a new dimension in papermaking

FiberLean® MFC
Natural strength

For
SPECIALY PAPERS EU 2016
MANCHESTER, UK
Per Svending
Dr. D Skuse
Dr. J Phipps

The FiberLean® MFC process

  • Co-grinding pulp to MFC in the presence of minerals.
    • the mineral acts as a very fine grinding media.
  • Robust and reliable equipment of relevant industrial scale.
  • On-site manufacturing, using a minor side stream of mill pulp.
  • No chemistry involved.

The FiberLean product is a mineral/MFC composite.

 

The FiberLean MFC Process

  • A wide range of pulps can be used
  • Also flexible with regard to the mineral
    •  GCC
    • PCC
    • Kaolin
    • Talc
    • TiO2

FiberLean® performance summary

 

FiberLean performance summary

Extracts from recent press-releases (Feb 16th and Feb 26th 2016)

Imerys has signed two separate commercial agreements for the full-scale supply of FiberLean® MFC, with two leading papermakers, one in Asia and one in the USA.

Imerys will have 8,000 dry metric tonnes per year capacity of MFC with the completion of these two plants, A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Contact Notification for Imerys FiberLean® MFC became effective in November 2015 for use as a food contact substance in paper and paperboard.

Imerys S.A. and Omya AG have entered into exclusive negotiations to form a 50:50 technology Joint Venture, FiberLean® Technologies, to promote the research and development of Micro Fibrillated Cellulose (MFC) concerning a variety of applications and industries.

The commercialization of MFC is to be independently and separately undertaken by Imerys and Omya commercial teams.

The FiberLean® contracts are for filler increase application in P&W

  • MFC added to give initial wet web strength and bond strength to allow increased filler loading.
  • Filler loading optimized for paper machine operational efficiency, quality and cost reduction.
  • Some quality advantages traded to mitigate loss in bulk.
  • Most significant remaining quality advantages are higher opacity and lower permeability, offering advantages in coating or printing.

Filler increase and MFC dose in FiberLean® CWF/UWF trials

Filler increase and MFC doseFull scale experience has proven:

  • 1% MFC makes it possible to increase filler by 5-6% (absolute).
  • Our target of 2% MFC allowing 10% filler increase is realistic.

Comparison of MFC/NFC products in filler increase application

  • Fine paper furnish – 30% Pine, 70% Eucalyptus, refined to 550 CSF
  • Hand sheets made at 80 g/m2 on British standard sheet former with whitewater recirculation to maximise overall retention
  • Samples taken after steady state had been obtained in the whitewater
  • High addition levels of micro/nano fibrillated cellulose (FC) chosen to emphasise effects and differences between products
    • 3.8% at 15% filler loading
    • 5,0% at 20% loading
    • 6.3% at 25% loading

Fibrillated Cellulose products compared cover a wide range

  • FiberLean commercial product, mechanical processing only
  • FiberLean+ development product, mechanical processing only
  • FC 1: Pilot scale product of unknown processing
  • FC 2: TEMPO-mediated oxidation followed by homogenisation
  • FC 3: Enzyme hydrolysis followed by homogenisation
  • FC 4: Commercially available MFC product without chemical treatment

Paper strength vs. filler content, showing different MFC/NFC´s have similar performance

Paper strength vs. filler content

FiberLean® MFC is available for full scale trials

Interior of FiberLean pilot plant in Trebal, UK

Interior of FiberLean pilot plant in Trebal, UK showing Big Bags used to transport FiberLean in ganulate form to customer trials.

FiberLean make down unit

FiberLean make down unit (MDU) “in action” preparing slurry for dosing to a paper machine.

FiberLean® for applications in specialty papers and packaging

FiberLean® for applications in specialty papers and packaging

 

 

 

 

 

  • Taking advantage of the positive impact on strength, porosity and opacity.
  • The presentation will focus on our experience from,
    • Increasing quality of specialty papers
    • Higher quality multi-layer board
    • Using MFC to take another step into the future

Full scale trial aimed at increasing bond strength

40-120 g/m2 one/two side coated papers for printing, label and food wrap

Full scale trial aimed at increasing bond strength

  • The critical level of bond strength required for a new paper application was achieved.
  • With gains in opacity and smoothness

Full scale trial aimed at improving surface without losing strength

40-120 g/m2 one/two side coated papers for printing, label and food wrap

Full scale trial aimed at improving surface

  • Addition of 3% MFC made 12% extra filler possible with maintained strength.
  • At this level there was improved surface smoothness and significantly increased gloss.

Selecting correct filler loading and sheet weight with FiberLean®

Pilot paper machine data

Pilot paper machine data

First full scale use of FiberLean® in board outer layers

Whitelined Chipboard

Whitelined Chipboard

  • Maintained visual and optical coverage
  • Maintained Scott Bond
  • Improved retention in top layer (53 to 61%)

Radical full scale use of FiberLean® in board outer layers

Folding Boxboard

Folding boxboard

Relative impact on key quality parameters:

Bulk Stiffness Roughness B-ness top B-ness back
Reference 100 100 100 100 100
FiberLean 1 100 102 70 100 100
FiberLean 2 99 99 80 100 102

Out of the box thinking for white boxes

Out of the box thinking for white boxes

  • What if extreme levels of mineral and MFC were used to provide cost-efficient coverage of a dark kraft or recycled base?
  • What if this top layer could be applied as a coating instead of as a separate web?
  • What if the coating could be applied already on the wire to use existing dewatering equipment?
  • Could this open up new possibilities for,
    • Upgrade of Kraftliner?
    • Upgrade of Testliner?
    • Added value conversions from P&W?
    • Other novel ideas?

Surface application of MFC and mineral

Surface application of MFC and mineral

  • This picture shows 0,3 g/m2 of MFC on the surface of a paper board.
  • It is applied as a FiberLean composite made with kaolin.
  • The challenge is to increase the amount of MFC in light of its high viscosity and low solids.
  • We believe the path forward is to apply MFC and minerals (FiberLean) as a “wetend coating”.

Wet-end coating offers exceptional coverage of unbleached base

All pictures show 40 g/m2 of top ply with FiberLean applied as a wet-end coating.

Wet-end coating offers exceptional coverage of unbleached base

Light weight coverage of a dark, spotty or rough base

Weight of “white top layer” and brightness when covering a 25 ISO brightness unbleached kraft base.

Light weight coverage of a dark, spotty or rough baseWet-in-wet application of FiberLean composite with 20% MFC and 80% GCC on 25 ISO Brightness unbleached kraft base.

Conclusions and summary

  • The use of MFC in paper making is now established.
  • Different types of MFC/NFC show similar performance for filler increase in paper.
  • There are opportunities to tailor the use of MFC to make specific quality improvements in specialty papers and packaging grades.
  • The exceptional ability of MFC and mineral to give opacity with retained strength offers new and exciting possibilities.
  • A summary of FiberLean performance shown:
MFC dose Filler increase (absolute) Basis Weight reduction
P&W 2% 10%
Board top 3,5% 15% 15%
Wet-end coating 20% 80% 63%
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