Tennessee Patent of the Month – February 2022

Paper production is simply the production of pulp, which is then shaped and dried into the desired end product. Of course, the process is much more technical than this. For instance, different pulp compositions produce different paper products. Pulp needs to be refined or the product risks defects. The refining process itself is further complex, operating within tight time constraints to prevent agglomeration which can damage the machine.

Eastman Chemical Company has been developing innovative processes and products for over 100 years, with a focus on sustainable solutions. Recently, they have designed a recycle bale which can be dropped directly into a hydropulper. This simplifies part of the paper production process, removing the need to defiberize cellulose beforehand.

In a traditional system, cellulose would have to be shredded, or defiberized, to a set refinement before entering a hydropulper. In Eastman’s design, the recycle bale is composed of cellulose fibers and synthetic cellulose ester fibers that have already been defiberized in their typical life cycle. This reduces the time spent throughout the production process and the likelihood of damage to the refiner. Instead, a whole bale can be dropped in, as is. In addition, the cellulose can be made of recycled materials, increasing sustainability without compromising the end-product integrity.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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