A nanofiber project developed by Klabin – the largest producer and exporter of packaging paper in Brazil -, in partnership with the Federal University of Lavras – UFLA, was awarded at one of the most important international congresses on nanotechnology, the International Conference on Nanotechnology for Materials Renewable held in Japan last month.
Organized by the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry, a centennial entity based in the United States, the event gathers and recognizes important works related to the responsible use and production of renewable and sustainable nanomaterials. Klabin ranked third in the poster session for its research into optimizing nanofiber production and reducing energy consumption in the process.
“Microfibers, or microfibrillated cellulose, have long been studied at the Klabin Technology Center in Telêmaco Borba, Paraná. This recognition reinforces the importance of the work carried out by the company in partnership with UFLA, as well as with other universities, and recognizes the relevance of what has been built in recent years in the area, “says Carlos Augusto, Klabin’s Research and Development Manager.
The work developed resulted in the reduction of 20 to 25% of the energy expenditure in the defibrillation process and increase of more than 10% in the resistance properties of the papers when produced with 1% to 2% of the microfibrillated cellulose. That is, if applied in large scale, the nanofiber will ensure a more robust material with reduced use of the raw material, cellulose.
The results identified in the study will be tested on an industrial scale by Klabin later this year when the company’s Pilot Plant Park in Paraná is inaugurated. The unit will enable the company to apply product testing to assess its potential for use in the pulp and paper industry as well as on other research fronts to replace materials such as plastics, glass and metals in packaging.
For the construction of the Park of Pilot Plants, where it will also be carried out several studies with another product extracted from the wood, lignin, were invested around R $ 32 million. The research is expected to allow Klabin to enter new markets and ensure new uses for its forests.