AkzoNobel and Alucha working on turning paper waste into paint

paper sludge
Alucha will be capturing calcium carbonate from paper sludge for use in AkzoNobel paint

Dutch company Alucha has developed a process that recovered calcium carbonate from paper waste, and AkzoNobel is set to trial it.

A sourcing agreement has been signed between the companies in which Alucha will provide the material for use in AkzoNobel brands such as Dulux.


Paper sludge is the paper industry’s biggest waste stream when the fibres have broken down in the pulping process to such an extent that they cannot be recycled again.

But the calcium carbonate recovered from the paper sludge by Alucha is an essential raw material used in paint.

Alucha chief executive Gijs Jansen said: “Today, calcium carbonate comes out out of mines and quarries in great quantities. It goes into plastics, paper, paints, pharmaceuticals and all sorts of everyday life products which will be thrown away and end up in landfill or incineration facilities.

“Either way you lose the calcium carbonate and burning it will generate carbon dioxide. Our technology to recover calcium carbonate will mean less waste in the landfill or incinerator, and also less reliance on mining.”

AkzoNobel director of sustainability Rinske van Heiningen added: “At AkzoNobel, we intend to buy this mineral from Alucha and become their launching customer. We’re very excited for opportunities to use recycled raw materials in our products.

“Our partnership with Alucha is one such example supporting our ‘People. Planet. Paint.’ sustainability ambitions.

“In the coming months, we’ll be testing the calcium carbonate Alucha collected from its pilot phase at the Sassenheim laboratory in the Netherlands. We’ve decided to use the recycled calcium carbonate in a filler to start with. Because of the filler’s relatively small scale, it’ll be easier to test, integrate and launch.”

AkzoNobel hopes to launch its first products containing the paper-sourced calcium carbonate in 2021.

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