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Clariant launches environmentally focused optical brighteners

June 3, 2013

Clariant launched the world’s most highly concentrated, urea-free liquid optical brightening agent (OBA) for printing and writing papers. New disulphonated Leucophor® ACK contains no environmentally harmful additives, decreases OBA requirements for papermakers, and lowers transport costs and carbon footprint.

Leucophor ACK is an ultra-concentrated aqueous solution specially designed to give state-of-the-art effectiveness while satisfying the most demanding environmental requirements. The unique, patented, new generation urea-free optical brightener is primarily intended for stock application in sized and unsized papers.

Free of additives such as urea and glycols, the REACH-registered brightener contributes less to the overall nitrogen and COD content of backwaters and effluent. Leucophor ACK fulfils the requirements of Nordic Swan, EU Eco Flower and BfR.

From an efficiency perspective, papermakers look to use less active agent to achieve good brightness or whiteness for their application. The highly substantive, ultra-concentrated stilbene brightener exhibits impressively high build up, even at extremely low concentrations, thanks to its strength and high affinity to the paper fiber. Compared to current disulpho chemistries, Leucophor ACK shows improved performance on stock addition to both virgin and recycled fiber, and in pigmented coating applications, particularly those containing PVOH as a secondary binder. It also allows greater flexibility and higher solids’ contents in CMC and starch/CMC pigmented coatings.

The OBA’s higher strength supports fewer deliveries and reduced storage volumes for paper mills. It therefore generates better sustainability through savings in product quantity and logistics, plus a lower transport carbon footprint, as well as easier handling.

Leucophor ACK liquid is also particularly suitable for unsized tissue, neutral-sized and heavy loaded papers, and is one of the most effective OBAs for use in wood-containing grades, such as improved newsprint and SC grades.

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