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New Color Developer Provides BPA, Phenol-Free Thermal Receipt Paper

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BASF, Charlotte, N.C., USA, reports that its Paper Chemicals division has developed a sustainable solution to the problem of Bisphenol A (BPA) in thermal receipt papers. Its new Pergafast® 201 is proving to be a safe, alternative color developer that in addition to being BPA free, is also phenol-free, the company notes.

BASF explains that every thermal paper contains a color developer as a key component in a chemical system designed to produce an image or record upon the application of heat. For many years, BPA was widely used as a color developer, but recently many concerns have arisen regarding its toxicological properties and thus its suitability for use in thermal paper. As a result of these concerns, a number of retail companies are now looking for BPA- and phenol-free thermal receipt papers.

"For quite some time there was no satisfactory alternative to BPA for manufacturers of thermal receipt papers," notes Dr. Frank Hoefer, VP Marketing Wet End Chemicals, Europe, within BASF's Paper Chemicals division. "This trend had been identified by Ciba (now part of BASF) where the R&D work on alternative color developer chemistries began and led to the first dedicated production capacities being installed in Ankleshwar, India."

Bill Palmer, regional head of Wet End Chemicals Asia Pacific, within the Paper Chemicals division, explains that "it was the combined effort of the European and the Asian business units to make additional quantities of this interesting product available and secure supply for a large market introduction. Now the first real commercial alternative to BPA can be launched."

High image stability of the new product class enables a wide range of applications such as tickets, tags, labels, and bank statements where such properties are essential, according to BASF.


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