New Lignin Management Program Improves Strength and Performance in Virgin Containerboard, 19PaperCon
It is well known that retention, drainage and strength programs struggle to perform (if at all) in virgin containerboard mills. Solenis has undertaken in-depth studies in this area for more than seven years investigating the issue from all directions. A key finding in this work is that soluble lignin is detrimental to chemical efficiency. We have repeatedly documented a strong correlation between decreased chemical efficiency and high soluble lignin. This correlation holds true regardless of furnish, as both recycled systems and virgin systems have been studied. The primary area of concern is virgin containerboard as these mills tend to have the highest lignin levels. Some highly closed recycled mills can also build elevated lignin levels that can negatively affect chemical efficiency.
Lignin management has become a major area of focus for us and several approaches have been established. Lignin resilient polymers have been developed and are currently in use with good results. This approach has been enhanced with our multicomponent FusionSM Strength and Performance technology. The central concept of this multicomponent system is soluble lignin reduction which results in improved performance of subsequent chemistry.
A more recent development has employed a combined enzymatic and polymeric approach to improve performance even further. This new lignin activation technology has been tested successfully in a very challenging 100% virgin Kraft system. Several dry strength technologies have been evaluated in this system in the past with poor results. When this new enzymatic approach was integrated with our polymer program the soluble lignin was reduced by up to 75%, making the chemistry so reactive that it more than doubled the headbox freeness! Further evaluations at this mill have documented greater than 20% strength improvement with significant speed increase.
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