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Dow & Koehler Win EPA Green Chemistry Award

PHILADELPHIA, PA | The Dow Chemical Company and Koehler Paper Group have been named winners of a 2017 US Environmental Protection Agency Presidential Green Chemistry Award for the development of ROPAQUE NT-2900 Opaque Polymer for Koehler’s BLUE 4EST Thermal Paper. This innovation is said to be a first of its kind, offering a sustainable thermal paper option free of chemical developers.

“We are thrilled to be partnered with Koehler to pave the way for this breakthrough technology,” says Bob Gargione, global business director for Dow Functional Coatings. “Our broad portfolio and investments into sustainable coating technologies for thermal, board, and other paper applications demonstrate our ongoing commitment to deliver innovative solutions, and this award is a great recognition of these efforts.”

ROPAQUE Technology was introduced by Dow Materials in the 1980s as a hollow sphere pigment technology, designed initially for use in architectural paints as a partial replacement for titanium dioxide. Opportunities to leverage the technology outside of traditional house paint applications expanded into the paper industry for use as a glossing agent, and now the technology has found a renewed value in thermal paper coatings.

Dr. Stefan Karrer, COO Koehler Paper Group, says, “Collaborating to combine the time-tested performance of ROPAQUE Hollow Sphere Pigment Technology from Dow with our formulation expertise for thermal applications, we knew at the onset of this project many years ago that we would find both an innovative and sustainable solution.”

This new technology relies solely on air voids in the paper coating to develop an image and reportedly is comprised only of materials that are approved for food contact applications. The resulting thermal paper can be used with all existing thermal printers is said to offer permanent and fade-resistant images.

The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards are sponsored by the US EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention in partnership with the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute and other members of the chemical community. The EPA grants the Award each year to organizations that incorporate the principles of green chemistry into chemical design, manufacture, and use.

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