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 Europe, USA, China
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;
  • paper 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.