NATUBAR - Natural raw materials for specific barrier applications in paper and board (SUSPRISE Joint Call)

NATUBAR is an industrial research project. It consists of researching and developing a totally new approach to starch modification namely selective oxidation as patented by Glycanex as well as the application in modern folding box boards and the photopaper production environment.

Short Description




Oxidation techniques currently employed in the starch industry are carried out in order to lower the molecular weight of the starch. Glycanex selective oxidation technologies are designed to avoid depolymerization of the starch and instead introduce carboxyl and/or aldehyde functionalities. These chemical groups are introduced through chemical transformation of the glucose groups that make up the starch and not through chemical grafting of functional chemicals onto the polymer. The resulting products are 100% renewable.

The interest of the mills in the mentioned market segments is in the biodegradability c.q. the sustainability of the produced paper products.

Initial situation: In many applications, paper and board needs a barrier film on its surface to prevent migration of substances towards the paper bulk. This is the case in photo paper where a polyethylene barrier is extruded on the paper in order to prevent penetration of photographic developer solutions into the paper. This is also the case in folding box board used in food packaging, where a barrier is meant to prevent board staining with oils and fats from foods stuff or water vapour permeation through the board. At present, the most efficient barrier materials are of synthetic origin (polyethylene and other synthetic polymers, fluorinated resins, etc.). There is a strong interest to replace those barrier materials by natural, renewable products. Until now, many works have investigated the potential of starch and its derivatives, however with a limited success.


  1. The developement of natural based barrier polymers as alternative for synthetic polymers for barrier properties in photopaper and folding box board.
  2. The assessment whether the application will be the best at the coating process (waterbased /size press) or as extrusion film for the papermachine. In parallel the best option for film extrusion will be examined; in other words direct extrusion form modified starch or from pre extruded starch pellets.
  3. Technological, Economical and Sustainability assessment for both applications

Expected Results

Proof-of-concept, demonstration on pilot plant level as well as the validation of the papermaking value of natural barriers.


Project Partners

Project management

Leon Joore
Millvision B.V., - The Netherlands

Project or cooperation partner

  • Glycanex B.V.-The Netherlands
  • Papiertechnische Stiftung- Germany
  • Felix Schoeller- Germany
  • Holzforschung-Austria
  • Mayrmelnhof-Austria

Contact Address

Leon Joore