Expanding the Palette: Fresh Portfolio of Colorants Helps Solenis Grow in Papermaking Chemical Market

After serving the pulp and paper industry for more than 100 years, Solenis is well known as a leading supplier of process and functional chemistries. The Wilmington, Delaware-based company already had a world-class portfolio of products, state-of-the-art monitoring and control systems and a global network of professionals respected for their consultative approach to working with customers.

Meanwhile, the Germany-based BASF had built its reputation as an innovative chemical company, and its 2008 acquisition of CIBA expanded its colorants portfolio and expertise even more, establishing BASF as the go-to reference in the market.

But every great team can be improved. For Solenis, which did not count colorants expertise as a core competency, the pickup of BASF’s basic dyes, direct dyes and pigment preparations was a key addition that strengthened an already robust portfolio. Now, Solenis has fully assimilated the acquired technologies and is well positioned to offer a colorants portfolio that gives papermakers great flexibility, along with support from a technical team.

As Solenis CEO John Panichella observed when the deal was signed, “Together, we have a unique opportunity to create a customer-focused global specialty chemical company with an enhanced focus and expanded offerings.”

Colorants are an important part of that offering.

A Full Spectrum of Solutions
Modern papermakers face enormous challenges. Their customers are becoming increasingly demanding as they clamor for a wide range of special effects, from colors and lightfastness to handling properties and custom formulations. Engaging different vendors to build a complete range of colorant products, in addition to all of the other wet-end chemistries, takes valuable time and energy that most paper mill personnel can’t spare. They would much prefer a supplier that offers a comprehensive solution, as well as the technical expertise to support it.

“There has been a lot of upheaval in the colorant supplier world,” says Christophe Zebst, Global Marketing Director, Industrial Packaging and Graphics & Specialty Papers, Solenis. “Papermakers want selection, but they also want stability and strength. Because of our track record serving the industry, our customers can feel confident that we’ll be there to support them, no matter their size or location. And, of course, we’re really pleased to offer a world-class portfolio of colorants.”

The Solenis portfolio is organized into three broad categories:

Liquid and powder direct dyes, which comprise both powder and liquid concentrate products. These direct dyes, which are labeled under Solenis’ Pergasol™ trade name, are anionic, water-soluble synthetic dyes known for their ability to achieve precise shade and quality targets. The dye group is ideal for providing deep, lasting color in printing and writing papers, graphic and specialty papers, hygiene papers, paper board, corrugated case materials, and decorative tissue paper grades. Solenis also offers some cationic direct dyes that have very higher fiber affinity, providing outstanding bleedfastness to many paper grades.

Organic and inorganic pigments, which Solenis markets as Pergalite™ in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America and as Solar™ in North America. These pigment preparations are an excellent choice for tinting white paper and for producing high-quality colored paper. They are also an excellent option for producing medium and deep colored paper grades, where lightfastness and chemical resistance are needed. Notably, Solenis offers a unique range of pigment preparations for paper and board intended to come into contact with food.

Basic dyes, which encompass Solenis’ Pergabase™ family of synthetic dyes. These colorants are well studied and allow papermakers to economically achieve brilliant shades of violet, brown, yellow, orange and red. They are ideally suited for tinting newsprint and wood-containing papers and for coloring waste-based packaging grades.

According to Zebst, it’s the versatility of the Solenis portfolio that is so attractive. “Our colorant products have been designed to provide a wide spectrum of colors that can be used to enhance just about any paper, tissue or board grade. Our team of papermaking and color experts work closely with each mill to design a program that functions properly in their operational environment, yet still allows them to meet quality, regulatory and shade requirements.”

Those requirements can vary greatly depending on the papermaking market. For example, tissue and towel makers must balance whiteness with wet strength, while deep-dyed napkins for food contact must provide excellent bleedfastness. Packaging and board makers must also be able to provide solutions for food contact, as well as other specialty packaging products such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and detergents, all of which must prevent water and vapor intrusion without sacrificing recyclability. Finally, printing and writing paper makers must be able to deliver brightness and whiteness, printability and runnability, gloss and smoothness, uniformity and strength.

In addition to these requirements, navigating the regulatory environment can be daunting. Since the Food Additives Amendment of 1958 was passed in the United States, a number of twists and turns have occurred that affect the use of colorants in food packaging, in polymers and in paper and paperboard. Similar challenges have affected EMEA, where BASF already forged a reputation as a leader in product safety and regulatory (PS&R) initiatives. Over the decades, BASF has obtained certifications with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel within different paper product groups, has developed a number of technologies with clean ecotox profiles and continues to extend its search for sustainable and renewable raw materials throughout the supply chain.

All of that regulatory expertise is now rolled up into the Solenis brand — and available to Solenis customers. In fact, having a color expert that understands and can help interpret regulations in multiple countries around the world is an essential part of a colorant solution.

As Zebst says, “There is an expression in the industry: color is easy — until it isn’t. That’s why it’s critical for papermakers to find a supplier who can solve problems and simplify their operations.”
much more at source: https://solenis.com/en/news-events/news/Solenis-Colorants-Update/

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