Paper industry is very diverse and offers various opportunities for the application of microbial enzymes in processes like deinking, fiber grafting, bio pulping, paper colouration, etc. This industry supplies over 360 million tons of paper and board annually.
There are a plentiful of researches done on it, and various new advancements in biotechnology have been done mainly in protein engineering, which has provided substantial techniques for the effective development of new enzymes.
Enzymes can help in various steps in the production process of paper which can help the mills save resources and lessen costs, consequently improving the quality of the final paper.
Still, there are different applications of enzymes which are under research and development stage. As of now, the most significant application is of eco-friendly biobleaching of hard and softwood pulps.
Enzymes in the paper-making process
Enzymes are said to be the proteins that can aid in speeding up biochemical reactions without being consumed. They are found everywhere in nature, be it our bodies, environment and all the living beings.
Enzymes are one of the best innovations as they help offer an alternative to the hard chemicals which were used conventionally for accelerating chemical reactions.
Particularly in the paper industry, enzymes are used for reducing bleaching chemical consumption, modifying wood fibers, control deposits, improving paper machine runnability and for microbial slime. The best part is that enzymes can be used without changing the existing processes.
In paper industry, enzymes have been used for removing bark, pitch, shives and slime. Here is a better understanding of the usage of industrial enzymes and their applications-
- Xylanase Enzyme in the bleaching process- The process of removing lignin from chemical pulps is said to be bleaching in the paper industry. It is a crucial step as it helps in improving paper properties. But for bleaching kraft pulps, it requires a massive amount of chlorine and chlorine chemicals.
The byproducts released by it are chlorinated organic substances that are toxic, persistent and can also cause harmful disturbances in the biological system. But using enzymes can help in reducing the usage of chlorine and other bleaching chemicals.
The enzymes used for bleaching are based on Xylanase enzyme, and if used with hemicellulolytic enzymes, then it can increase the effectiveness of treatment.
- Lipase enzyme reduces machine downtime– While doing the mechanical pulp process, there is still some sticky tree sap called pitch. During the production of paper, this pitch causes a lot of issues by forming machine deposits and product defects.
This causes quality issues, rejected paper, machine downtime and increases the cost of paper. But by using Novozymes lipase, you can sideline all these issues. It can help in lessening downtime related to obstructed felts and web breaks, plus it also improves paper performance and appearance.
- Use Cellulase Novozym for recycling- You might be surprised to know that around 50% of the tree is utilized when the pulp is produced chemically and 90% in case if the mechanical process is used. The demand for paper products is increasing. Thus it has become all the more important to recycle paper.
Usually, mills use a mechanical process to recycle paper. Still, with the help of cellulase novozym, it helps in loosening the ink from paper fibers, which help in improving the rate of ink removal.
Just like the glue from stickies is problematic for the mills and can cause machine stops for cleaning. But by using these enzymes for the industrial purpose, you can improve productivity and enhance energy savings.
Eco-friendly, biobleaching and other approaches like pitch removal and deinking of paper waste have taken over since years because of the demand for chlorine-free bleach pulp. People have started using potent biocatalysts like xylanases and laccases. Thus, using this not only helps the industries but also to the environment.