Buckman Wins Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award

At ceremonies in Washington D.C., Buckman was presented with the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the EPA for its Maximyze® enzymes comprised of natural catalysts to reduce energy and decrease the amount of wood fiber needed to manufacture high quality paper and paperboard. The award, the second for Buckman, is in the Designing Greener Chemicals Award category. This is the 17th year of the EPA awards program that recognizes the design of safer and more sustainable chemicals, processes and products.

The award-winning Maximyze technology from Buckman consists of new enzymes and combinations of enzymes which allow for more sustainable production of paper and paperboard with improved strength and quality. These enzymes are derived from renewable resources and produced by fermentations, rather than typical chemical reaction methods. Maximyze enzymes provide a completely new way to increase paper strength. Previously, the papermaker was limited to the costly process of adding different pulps, increasing mechanical fiber treatment which requires significant energy expenditure, or using various chemical additives of which many are derived from non-renewable resources.

“We are proud to be recognized by the EPA for our work on Maximyze with this prestigious award,” said Buckman Chairman of the Board Kathy Buckman Gibson. “Buckman is dedicated to serving our customers by providing innovative product and process solutions, while at the same time maintaining a culture committed to a sustainable future. We strive to use our knowledge to help make the world a better place for all. This award is particularly rewarding to us because it reflects success in both sustainability practices and product innovation.”

The name Maximyze refers to a group of products developed and sold by Buckman that are comprised of carefully selected and designed enzymes, derived from natural sources, that modify cellulose fibers. This technology is now being applied successfully in many paper mills around the world.

The use of Maximyze provides a variety of potential productivity, quality and environmental benefits to Buckman customers in the manufacture of tissue, paper and paperboard materials. These include:
– Improved paper product strength, which enables a reduction in the amount of cellulose fiber required to attain the necessary product performance specifications. In one application, the basis weight of the paper product was reduced by three pounds per 1,000 square feet with no loss of quality, resulting in a one percent reduction in the amount of wood pulp required, and therefore fewer trees were needed to create the same product. This amounts to the reduction of wood needed to produce these products by thousands of tons annually.
– Lighter weight paper or board translates into reduced resources required for shipping.
– Improved strength of paper made from recycled fibers, allowing a papermaker to use more recovered paper.
– Significantly reduces energy requirements for refining, up to complete elimination. Refining is an energy-intensive process that collapses the fiber and modifies its surface to improve inter-fiber bonding.
– Improves water removal in the papermaking process so less steam is required to dry the paper on the paper machine. The combination of enzyme action and reduced refining results in fewer fiber fragments and fines.
– Increases fiber choice flexibility. For example, the paper maker may be able to increase the proportion of hardwood fiber or recycled fiber used. To the papermaker this reduces cost. In addition, Eucalyptus (hardwood) plantations supply cellulose fiber much more quickly, requiring less forest land compared to softwoods.

“Each of these benefits has a different level of importance to each of our customers, whether they are looking for opportunities to use more plantation and less forestation hardwoods, more strength with less fiber in their paper and tissue, less energy usage, or lighter end-products,” added Buckman Gibson. “From a global environmental perspective, the Maximyze product portfolio is an excellent example of a technology with meaningful impact as we look for ways to reduce the strain on natural resources in the production of such basics as toilet paper, office and printing papers, and packing materials for a growing world population.”

“We congratulate Buckman on receiving this prestigious and well-deserved award,” said Suhas Apte, Vice President, Global Sustainability for Kimberly-Clark. “As Kimberly-Clark continues to pursue innovation to help us deliver against our challenging sustainability goals, we are encouraged to see our valued supplier partner recognized for its development of Maximyze enzymes, which offer Kimberly-Clark the potential for fiber choice flexibility and reduced energy usage.”

Buckman is a major innovator and leader in the international paper industry, with a commitment to stewardship and sustainability that demands continuous improvement. This commitment means Buckman is focused at all levels on preserving our environment through more efficient use of resources like energy and raw materials, minimizing the use of non-renewable resources, and maximizing safety for everyone involved with our products and processes. The Maximyze technology delivers these benefits. One major advantage of paper is that its basic raw material (trees) is renewable; the paper industry has a strong commitment to sustainability in maintaining forest lands. Yet there is also a major commitment to recycling: 63.5 percent of paper consumed in the U.S. is recovered (2010 statistics) and recycled to be reused back in the manufacture of paper and paperboard.

The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards are bestowed in five categories: Academic, Small Business, Greener Synthetic Pathways, Greener Reaction Conditions, and Designing Greener Chemicals. The 2012 award is the second for Buckman. In 2004, its Optimyze® Enzyme Technology to Improve Paper Recycling won the EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in the Greener Reaction Conditions category. Since the program launch by the EPA, some 1,500 nominations have been considered and only 87 awards given.

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