Traditionally, paper was made in an acidic manufacturing environment, and involved the use of a variety of chemicals, including alum, rosin sizing and clays.
Beginning in the mid to late 1980s, a revolution took place as paper manufacturers began switching to an alkaline-based environment. One of the primary advantages to this adjustment was the introduction of precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC). The primary use of PCC is as a filler when making the paper, which provides a number of advantages: these advantages include brighter paper, better opacity, improved printability, increased thickness and, most importantly, a reduction in the amount of wood fiber required to make paper.
Another important advantage of PCC is that it is generally less expensive than the clay-fillers it replaces. This is because the raw materials used to make PCC are lime (calcium oxide or CaO) and the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by mills.
Graymont has played a major role in the development of the PCC market, and supplies a number of production facilities with the high-quality quicklime required for this exacting process.