The research project Formulosa focus is on development of new cardboard packaging. The project is run by Södra Cell, Chalmers University of Technology, Tetra Pak, Korsnäs and Vinnova. Formulosa stands for free formability with functionalised cellulose. The project focuses on food packaging. The aim is to modify the cellulose and make it so plastic that it can be formsprayed into functional and attractive packaging.
The ionic liquids shows great promise for the development of new cellulosic materials. They represent an almost completely unexplored path. Ionic liquids dissolve the cellulose fibers and makes them formable. The liquids can be recycled because they do not evaporate. For Tetra Pak the primary objective of Formulosa is not to create a series of new packages, but primarily to gain a larger share of renewable raw materials in the current assortment. Today cardboard is supplied in rolls which imposes certain restrictions, free and curved forms can not be achieved. You can not stretch the box without cracking it. By “unlocking” the fiber the carton becomes freely formable. In this way one can achieve packaging that is more similar to bottles. At the same time maintaining the carton’s all good qualities.
Thank you Margaretha Söderqvist Lindblad at Södra Cell Innovation and Uppfinnaren och Konstruktören for this information. In the picture above you see Malin Brodin who is a postgraduate in organic chemistry at Chalmers University of Technology and a part of the Formulosa project.