Penford has released a product the company said will reduce production costs for paperboard producers.
The starch and ethanol processor developed PenStrength, which enhances the binding of pulp fibers to make recycled paperboard stronger, in Cedar Rapids.
By using PenStrength, a biopolymer additive, paperboard producers can reduce production costs by up to $10 to 40 per ton, the company said.
Penford has filed a patent application for the product, which was released in March.
“It started with one of our sales guys listening to some of the things that his customers were telling him with regards to their product and issues they were having, particularly with recycled liner board and making their strength targets,” said Michelle Schaffer, Penford’s director of marketing.
“He had an idea, and he brought that idea to one of our (research-and-development) scientists in Cedar Rapids who began working on the product.”
The product is for high recycle fiber content packaging board, Schaffer said. As more cereal boxes and container board are recycled, paperboard manufacturers will use that material to make their products, she said.
“As we recycle more and more, that fiber becomes weaker and weaker compared to just taking fiber from a tree, which is very strong,” she said. “That’s where you need help with additives, to help bind those shorter fibers.”
Penford will market the product to companies that are producing recycled liner board or producers of boards such as cereal boxes and snack-food bar boxes, Schaffer said.
The company sees PenStrength “as a viable alternative to synthetics,” noted Dan Walter, vice president of Penford’s BioProducts division, in a news release.
Schaffer said the product allows Penford to target a segment of the paper industry that is growing, she added.