A nonwoven made from Kelheim Fibre’s water-repellent Olea fibres.
A nonwoven made from Kelheim Fibre’s water-repellent Olea fibres.

For many years, the company has been working on fibres for filtration applications; the use of viscose fibres in papers for tea bags or coffee filters and R&D activities in the sector of beer filtration are just two examples. Now it is looking into a new area of applications the use of Olea fibre for emulsion separation.

Olea is a viscose fibre with durable hydrophobic properties. The additives used in production are approved for food contact by the FDA and the BfR and at the same time free of silicones.

In a series of tests over the next months, Kelheim Fibres will analyse how these hydrophobic properties influence the separation of water/oil mixtures. Preliminary trials have shown an accumulation of oil on the fibre’s surface which then enables the separation of the larger oil droplets.

In a next step, the company will examine the efficacy of separation of different emulsions, as well as the influence of the nonwoven construction and suitable blend partners.

In order to include the technical and commercial requirements of different potential markets, Kelheim Fibres intends to include industrial partners at a very early stage in this development.