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For Industry

Use of zeolites in paperboard production

The control of the sensory properties of the prepared papers and boards depends on the quality of the feedstock and the proportion of metal ions that cause auto-oxidation of fatty acids. For this purpose, chelators based on DTPA, EDTA, HEDTA, GLDA, MGDA, NTA, EDG and their derivatives are used in most cases. They ensure the sensory stability of cellulose fibre-based packaging, since the chelating of metal ions has the effect of preventing the oxidation of fatty acids and resins in the raw material. The prevention of oxidation almost completely prevents the formation of unpleasant odours and the transfer of these odours and tastes to the food product from possible naturally occurring chemical reactions within the product from raw materials of natural (biological) origin.


The use of hydrophilic zeolites in the manufacture of cellulose-based products or cellulose fibres represents a new way of preventing autocatalytic fatty acid oxidation reactions in cellulosic raw materials and cellulose and  consequently organic volatile compounds (odour) formation, that affect sensory properties. The addition of zeolite reduces the concentration of metals and acts as an ion exchanger for the metal cations present in the wood pulp from which the pulp or cellulose fibre products are produced. The use of zeolites maintains and/or improves the mechanical properties of the paperboard. The invention was made in collaboration with Silkem, Količevo karton, the Pulp and Paper Institute and the National Institute of Chemistry.

Main advantages

  • Inorganic materials as environmentally friendly materials/substitute for current non-environmentally friendly organic chelator.
  • Improvement of mechanical and optical properties of paperboard.
  • Odour prevention.


Fields of use: Advanced Materials, Paper Feedstock

Technology Readiness Level: TRL3

Intellectual property: Patent pending

Partner sought: R&D collaboration to further develop the technology, licensing or sell of IP rights.

Next steps needed: Testing in an industrial environment, scale-up.

Co-owner: Silkem d.o.o. and Količevo karton d.o.o.




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