Method for removing mineral oils from recycled paper/cardboard

The patented technology applied to the production of food contact paper/paperboard is intended to remove mineral oil, whose aromatic fraction is claimed to be cangerogenic. The paper color is not affected by the silica treatment.

Title of the patent Use of mesoporous silica
Thematic area Chemistry and biotechnology
Ownership Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna and Università del Piemonte Orientale
Inventors Ilaria Braschi, Enrico Buscaroli, Chiara Bisio, Daniele Bussini, Graziano Elegir, Leonardo Marchese
Protection International (PCT)
Licensing status Available for licensing agreement
Keywords recycable and reusable modified porous silicas , mineral oil (MOSH & MOAH) , food contact paper/ paperboard
Filed on Jul 12, 2016

The currently available technologies enable limitation of organic contaminants migration from paper-based packaging to foodstuff through application of plastic, aluminum or activated carbon layers on/inside paper/paperboard foils. In any case, these technologies require ad hoc paper production chains, whilist contaminants are not removed from packaging.

The patented technology allows for adsorbing and removing toxic contaminants (MOSH) and potential carcinogenics (MOAH) from paper/paperboard without the need to modify production line and without altering the cellulose neutral color. The patent application claims the use of mesoporous silicas at high affinity for mineral oil.

The silicas are thermally regenerable and reusable in numerous production cycles


  • printing process and food contact paper-based packaging
  • oil and petrochemical industry



  • reduction of MOSH and MOAH content in food contact paper-based packaging
  • production of paper/paperboard of natural color
  • low economical impact on the paper production chains
  • deforestation containment through the use of recycled paper

Braschi, Buscaroli, Bisio, Marchese: "A new patent for the production of safe recycled paper / paperboard for food contact: Use of modified silica for the removal of mineral oil hydrocarbons from paper production chain" was presented during the session on "Applied Research to improve waste valorization, and possible integration with Industry 4.0 " at Ecomondo Fair which took place in Rimini, Italy, in November 2017.

Further information


Prof.Braschi was invited to present the "RE-Paper" technology during the Start Up Ecosystem Day which took place on the 20th of October, 2017, at  the Bologna Business School. More than 40 startups and 10 research groups met investors and BBS students. 

Further information


On 21 July 2017, the "CARTA CANTA" workshop  was  organised by the Department of Agricultural Sciences - University of Bologna. Prof. Braschi presented the patented invention within the event featuring "The University of Bologna's patent response to the needs of the Food business players in the Paper Industry." 

Further information