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In recent years, we have expanded our activities in research, development and innovation to advance in increasingly sustainable applications for our products, in search of natural and biodegradable barriers to meet the demands of conscious consumption.
Movements in favor of restricting the use of single-use plastic – such as the recent plan to combat pollution by this product announced by the Chinese government – have drawn attention to the packaging industry. In this scenario, Klabin once again stands out as a benchmark manufacturer in sustainable alternatives. Our challenge is to find ways to offer solutions that do not harm the environment and are economically viable for our customers.
We expect to invest around BRL 180 million in industrial and forestry research for developing new products and agreements with research institutes and universities.
In 2019, through the internal paper coating units at our Technology Center in Paraná, we made progress in developing the new barriers.
Highlights include work developed for industrial bags: products with a water barrier, intended for the mortar and fertilizer segments, and in dispersible paper, intended for special cement packaging.
Another advance comes from testing on customer lines with mixtures of cellulose fibers (long and short), and on the fluff pulp line for new applications in addition to the diaper and menstrual pad segments.
Research on the uses of lignin, extracted from black liquor of the wood cooking processes in our pulp units, also confirmed opportunities for different applications: in resins for sheets, plywood and abrasives; in plastics to increase the percentage of renewable raw materials; and in carbon fibers, replacing the use of materials of a fossil fuel origin.
Unprecedented and award-winning technology
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The development of Eukaliner®, a kraftliner made exclusively with eucalyptus fibers, earned Klabin the award for the Innovation in Packaging category of the 11th edition of the PPI Awards, from Fastmarkets RISI, in an event held in Lisbon in March 2020. This is one of the most prestigious recognitions of the paper and pulp industry in the world.
The new paper has already been tested by customers in Europe, the United States and Latin America, exceeding all expectations for the product in the packaging segment. Large-scale production is scheduled for early 2021 at the Puma II Unit. Among the benefits proven in the product testing are high print quality, excellent structure that allows for a reduction in paper weight and outstanding performance in refrigerated environments. In addition, since its production uses eucalyptus alone, it optimizes planted forest areas.
Pilot Plant Park comes online
After conducting tests on concept, capacity and performance, our Pilot Plant Park came online in Paraná. The facility simulates a manufacturing unit to conduct industrial studies and tests on research fronts related to lignin and microfibrillated cellulose (MFC),reinforcing the technological basis for our expansion cycle. This will allow us to accelerate processes that were on the industrial testing bench, with more rigor and accuracy of results.