Circular Action Treatment (CAT): Recycling of Old Corrugated Containers

(De Gruyter) – With an increasing emphasis on limited resources it is necessary that recycling of recovered paper takes place considering both the decreasing availability of natural fiber resources and environmental restrictions.

In Korea, the recycling ratio of paper has been increasing gradually since the early 1990s, reaching approximately 77 %. Old corrugated Containers (OCC) are a common material for paperboard production. The recycling rate of OCC has increased with the expansion of the home-delivery service and the IT industry.

Unfortunately, the quality of OCC deteriorates with increasing recycling rates. Contamination occurs as a result of the accumulation of hydrophobic substances such as ink. Hornification is the irreversible morphological and chemical modification of fibers due to repeated drying and wetting during the recycling process. It results in a reduction in paper strength.

When paper strength decreases, usually papermakers increase the basis weight of the paper or the blending ratio of virgin fibers. Additional blending of virgin fibers for the enhancement of paper strength increases the overall production cost, in addition to decreasing the recycling rate.

Circular action treatment (CAT) is a new method designed for the mild mechanical treatment of old corrugated containers containing undesirable materials and fines.

The authors analyzed the effect of CAT and low-consistency beating at various conditions. While paper strength was higher upon beating compared to the case of CAT, the intensive beating action in the former resulted in fiber damage, generating excessive fines and decreasing fiber length. In addition, the applicability of CAT to the papermaking process was evaluated at various operating conditions.

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Edited for Content and Length by Dr. Matthew A. Hood.

The  full article can be found at De Gruyter in the Nordic Pulp & Paper Research Journal.

2017 IMPACT FACOR 1.13

DOI: 10.1515/npprj-2018-3049

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