Tappi Con 2023 - Atlanta 22- 26 April 2023

Microfibrillated Cellulose for Next-generation Sustainable Packaging - Presented by Tom Larson

FiberLean Technologies’ microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) is produced at industrial scale based on mechanical grinding of wood pulp. The FiberLean process utilizes robust milling equipment without the need for chemical additives. The process has been developed to enable cost-effective MFC production from a broad variety of pulp types, including those from recycled sources. MFC is increasingly becoming a vital tool in the paper makers toolkit; users of this technology can reduce costs, improve product quality, develop new products and reach their sustainability targets.

When MFC is added to paper and board furnishes, the strength of both the wet web and dry sheet is increased. Furthermore, the voids between fibres are bridged and drawn closer together. The densified structure has substantially reduced permeability and lower surface roughness, which significantly improves application and hold-out of functional and barrier coatings.

Surface application of MFC onto paper and board grades has exciting potential in the specialties/barrier market. When MFC is formed into layers and dried onto the surface, the fibrils bind tightly, resulting in very smooth and low porosity films which exhibit barrier properties towards oil and grease, oxygen, aroma, and mineral oils. The layer also serves as an ideal substrate to combine with subsequent coatings to achieve additional barrier properties (e.g., To moisture and water).

In this presentation we further discuss these applications and provide some insight into the potential that MFC has to offer in the next generation of sustainable paper, packaging and moulded fibre innovations.