Full-scale release of paper pulp slime control agent Fuzzicide™
Fuzzicide™ is an inorganic slime control agent with significant antimicrobial properties designed for paper mills. Its effects are achieved through the reaction of an inorganic compound with no inherent antimicrobial activity, and sodium hypochlorite. Among organic slime control agents commonly used in paper mills, current methods require raising dosing concentrations to enhance antimicrobial activity, bringing to the fore the issue of proportionate increases in environmental loads. Comparatively, newly released Fuzzicide™ is an innovative slime control agent with high resistance to bacteria, fungi and yeast, assuring eco-friendliness and safety. This agent has been verified to have no effect on papermaking chemicals such as dyes. Kurita Water Industries has taken the initiative in incorporating Fuzzicide™ into approximately 40 machines centering on fine paper for five years since receiving its dealership in Japan from AY Lab, an Israeli venture firm. The benefits of Fuzzicide™ have since been substantiated. We further aim to expand the use of Fuzzicide™ in neutral-pH paper machines -- such as paperboard and newsprint machines that require slime control due to changes in paper types -- in addition to fine paper machines. Fuzzicide™ features: availability in intended water systems with high organic matter content, low metal corrosivity, and no generation of toxic waste such as trihalomethane. Capitalizing on these features, we look to the future and aim at market expansion through the adoption of Fuzzicide™ into the general water treatment system.
1. Current conditions
Paper mill white water circulatory systems, in which nutrients such as starch are observed, maintain a water temperature of 30 to 40℃ with a pH of 4.5 to 8.0, conditions that promote microorganism development. Microorganisms grow, producing viscous materials predominantly composed of polysaccharides on paper machine surfaces, causing the formation of pulp- and loading filler-laden biofilms called slime. This slime is characterized by detachment, which leads to a deterioration in quality and productivity. Slime control agents have been adopted to prevent the problem. There have been strides made in composition and application technologies over the past three decades, but not in materials. This is evident by the fact that organic antibacterial agents have been in constant use since their initial development over 30 years ago.
Recent trends, such as increased paper recycling, progress in pH-neutral papermaking and decreases in water consumption have resulted in concentrated nutrients in paper, setting the stage for an increase in slime growth. Furthermore, as a result of paper machine speed enhancement and product weight reduction, even a slight detachment of slime causes sheet defects and sheet break, giving a growing importance to papermaking slime control.
2. Issues with previous slime control agents
Demands for safety assurance and eco-friendliness have followed increased social awareness of environmental concerns in recent years. Thus a new slime control solution providing excellent results and capable of assuring safety and low environmental loads is in demand.
Fuzzicide™ is formed by the reaction of two chemicals -- an inorganic compound with no inherent antimicrobial activity and sodium hypochlorite. Fuzzicide™ is not supplied in containers due to easy degradation and a lack of long-term stability. It requires the installation of dedicated dosing equipment near the intended system, and the agent can be added while being constantly generated in the equipment. The dosing equipment is outfitted with a computer to control the proportions and reactions of the above two chemicals when forming Fuzzicide™ and to add it in appropriate quantities.
Sodium hypochlorite is commonly used for sterilizing tap water. However, it tends to assign priority to dissolved organic matter rather than reacting to bacteria. Thus it is seldom used in papermaking, a process with significant dissolved organic matter that decreases antimicrobial activity.
< Fuzzicide™ features >
Key features of Fuzzicide™ include the following, which eliminate all the problems previous organic slime control agents confronted:
- Superior bactericidal effect in a short time and in small concentrations
- Effective against bacteria and a wide range of microorganisms such as fungi and yeast.
- Little consumption by dissolved organic matter , which furthers osmosis into slime and inhibits its growth.
- No rise in corrosion of metals such as stainless and carbon steels because of slight oxidation, with no effect on papermaking chemicals such as dyes.
- Mild irritants with no mutagenicity, assuring high safety.
Easy adoption because it does not fall under Fire Defense, Poisonous Material Control, Occupational Safety and Health or PRTR Laws.
- Easy degradation
Its resolvent is an eco-friendly inorganic compound that produces no toxic wastes like trihalomethane or dioxin.
- Approximately 40% reduction in operating costs (compared with our previous product)
4. Our target market in the papermaking process
Estimated annual slime control agent sales in the papermaking market are 3.5 billion yen. Our immediate business development plan is to focus on tried-and-true paper machines producing fine paper with a pH of 5.5 or higher, paperboards and newspaper. Our additional plan is to forge ahead with medium-/large-sized paper machines, whose daily production volume is 150t or over, ensuring installation space for the dedicated on-site dosing equipment. Therefore, the market to which Fuzzicide™ is applicable is presumed to be approximately 2 billion yen a year, and estimated annual sales are 400 million yen this year and 1 billion yen in five years.