Paper Industry

 from Diphex Chemical Safety

This is a complex industry with many stages to produce a variety paper products which include packaging materials, writing paper, newpaper and toilet paper. Chemical risk is present at many stages of the process and also within the manufacturing plants for cleaning operations, effluent treatment, paper dyeing and on-site laboratories. Paper recycling will also have its own chemical risks.

Paper Pulp Production

Wood Pulp Preparation: the Kraft process uses Sodium Hydroxide and Sodium Sulphide and the more enviromentally friendly soda pulping process uses Sodium Hydroxide. The aim is to dissolve the lignin to extract the cellulose from the wood fibre. Sodium Hydroxide raises the pH of the process causing the wood fibres to swell which is important for the grinding process.

Bleaching: Historically elemental chlorine was used for this process but the risks and the polluted waste that it produced saw a movement away from this process. Nowadays derivatives of chlorine are usually used and these include Chlorine Dioxide, Sodium Chlorate, Ozone and Hydrogen Peroxide. 

Recycling Process: This is mainly a mechanical process also utilising steam treatment. Hydrogen Peroxide, Sulphonic Acid and Sodium Hydrosulphite can be used. The paper may also undergo a de-inking treatment which is carried out by washing or flotation. 

Paper Manufacture

Depending on the paper being manufactured clay, dye or other additives may be added prior to transformation of the pulp. Ther may also be the addition of chemicals to improve the final product eg bonding agents, wet-strengthening agents, retention agents. Once the paper has been manufactured final treatments are added to produce, for example, glossy papers for magazine printing or tracing papers.

Chemicals of note in this industry:

Sodium Hydroxide, Hydrogen Peroxide, Sodium Peroxide, Chlorine, Sulphuric Acid, Peracetic Acid

Diphoterine® is suitable for all chemicals listed. These, used in addition with Trivorex®, Polycaptor® and Le Vert ®, can provide security in dealing with all chemical splashes and spills.

Additional Reading:

Sulphuric Acid

Sodium Hydroxide