Publication date: 18-10-2016 14:06
The researchers Ana Filipa Lourenço, José Ferreira Gamelas and Paulo Jorge Ferreira, from the Chemical Process Engineering and Forest Products Research Centre (CIEPQPF) of the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Coimbra, won the TECNICELPA 2016 award, granted to the best work presented in the XXIII International Forest, Pulp and Paper Conference, organized by TECNICELPA - Portuguese Association of the Technicians of the Cellulose and Paper Industry and held in Oporto between October 12th and 14th, 2016.
The awarded work, entitled “Modification of fillers for increased strength in papermaking”, was developed in the framework of a project financed by FCT (PTDC/EQU-EQU/120578/2010, "New modified fillers for papermaking”) and resulted in the publication of eight articles in scientific international journals. The objective of the study was to modify mineral fillers for application in papermaking, aiming at improving the mechanical strength and filler retention properties. For that, different strategies for the surface functionalization of precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC, the most used filler in the Portuguese industry) were carried out, with the most promising results being obtained with the modifications of PCC with silica or with alternating layers of specific polyelectrolytes. As the main output of this research, a new product was obtained enabling an increase of the filler content in the handsheets of ca. 5% without impairing the paper mechanical strength.
It should be mentioned that the TECNICELPA award, now in its 5th edition, was granted in 2010 to Isabel Moutinho, Margarida Figueiredo and Paulo Ferreira, and in 2013 to José Gamelas (together with Dmitry Evtuguin and Inês Portugal, from the University of Aveiro), being thus the third time that the work of CIEPQPF members is recognized with this award.