« Biomaterials are an integral part of the papermaking process, making paper easy to recycle »
What are biomaterials?
They are renewable, biodegradable raw materials which offer an alternative to materials of non-renewable fossil origin. Biomaterials stem from the products and by-products of cereals (starch, gluten), oil-producing and protein-producing plants (protein), as well as fibrous plants (cellulose). They are used in the production of biopolymers (films and packaging) and composite agromaterials (coatings, car fittings, insulation, etc.) mainly composed of raw materials of agricultural origin. They are essentially used for medical purposes and in the plastics industry.
How are biomaterials used in the paper industry?
Historically, starch has been an essential raw material in the papermaking process. It is used at different stages, at the wet end in the pulp-making process, and as part of surfacing solutions. Those processes increase the paper’s resistance to tearing and splitting; they also reinforce its surface cohesion through sizing and prevent fluffing.
Today, biomaterials are increasingly used as an alternative to non-renewable materials of fossil origin, such as plastics, and to facilitate the recycling of paper products.
Did you know?
Starch is also used to produce glue, make biodegradable plastic films, and coat textiles, Moreover, it is used as a component of bioethanol and as an additive or cementing substance in the construction industry.