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The Special Fluids division of Total appears in the Ink World Magazine:


New Bionomic 2.0 heatset ink using renewable alkanes from palm oil eliminates use of mineral oil from crude oil or gas.

There is tremendous concern today about safety of consumers and the environment in general. While low migration inks get most of the attention, mineral oil is also a concern, particularly in the recycling process. In 2013, Schuite & Schuite Druckfarben GmbH (S&S) developed Bionomic 1.0, a mineral oil-free heatset ink, but the company was looking for ways to improve the formulation. Now, Total Special Fluids has successfully developed Scriptane Biolife, a new biorenewable replacement for mineral oil, leading S&S to formulate and bring Bionomic 2.0 to market. S&S successfully introduced Bionomic 2.0 to printers during drupa 2016.

Bauke Jan Schuite of S&S Inks said the concerns over mineral oil led his company to pioneer the development of mineral oil free heatset inks in 2012.

“There is concern over migration of mineral oil on recycled paper getting into the food chain,” Schuite said. “There is new legislation regarding aromatics, with the goal of developing mineral oil-free inks. In the past, there were some publishers who wanted to go mineral oil-free, which led us to look in this direction.

“Bionomic 1.0 was invented in 2012, when Marc De Geest found something that replaced mineral oil,” Schuite added. “The inks worked excellently but price was the obstacle.

All the printers who have tested our Bionomic series reacted very positively about the press performance and the end result. No negative remark was ever given.

“However, there were two main disadvantages to Bionomic 1.0,” Schuite added. “The ink series was, because of the chosen raw material, quite expensive and there is not enough raw material available to make a switch in the whole heatset market.”

“Aromatics will be banned for sure in the next two years,” De Geest said. “Regulations will be phased in, as aromatic-free mineral oils are expensive.”

Total then developed Scriptane Biolife, a renewable material that could replace mineral oil.

“In the raw material industry it is known that S&S is constantly looking for new ways to be more responsible,” Schuite said. “When Total came up with Scriptane Biolife, its new replacement for mineral oil, they came to us as we are the only heatset ink company doing R&D on this. Total Special Fluids is a leading producer and marketer of high purity hydrocarbon fluids, and has developed unique expertise and know-how over the last 50 years.

“We have worked with this raw material and came to a new mineral oil-free heatset ink,” Schuite added. “Bionomic 2.0 is not simply a new mineral oil-free inks series but with a unique technique we also have managed to decrease drastically the amount of VOCs in the ink. Bionomic 2.0 has now has been beta tested.

We also do a mineral oil-free coldset ink, which is the same price as regular coldset inks.”

Franck Bardin, market manager for special fluids, Total, noted that Total has done a lot of research into mineral oil free products for other markets. Like Schuite, Bardin said that

Total Special Fluids anticipates potential future regulations that could ban or demand the restricted use of mineral oils, and the ink industry is a natural fit.

“Our products are used in a wide range of applications,” Bardin noted. “In inks, world-leading resin and printing ink manufacturers have used our extra low aromatics Scriptane PW products for years. In response to growing demand from our customers for sustainable solutions, Total Special Fluids, as a responsible player, is developing a new range of bio-sourced hydrocarbons. New molecules have been designed to achieve excellent performances combined with innovative properties.”

Bardin said that Scriptane Biolife is from a vegetable-based feedstock that is 100% International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified PFAD (Palm Fatty Acid Distillate) and crude palm oil.

 “Scriptane Biolife is made from biorenewable resources,” Bardin said. “We use vegetable-based feedstock from palm oil, which is also ideal for cosmetics, lubricants and digital inks. We have no aromatics (<0.005%) in our products. These innovative, renewable, iso-alkane fluids may replace traditional hydrocarbons derived from crude oil. They have a similar composition to that of their fossil equivalents but from a bio-sourced origin.”

Bardin said that the production process for Scriptane is patented, and there is no use of food products in manufacturing Scriptane Biolife.

“These products result from a solid partnership in the supply of renewable feedstock, our internal R&D expertise and a unique, patented HDA (Hydro De-Aromatization) technology process coupled with narrow cut distillation,” Bardin noted. “It is important to realize that food availability is not influenced. There are no human or environmental impacts.”

Aside from being mineral oil-free, Scriptane Biolife offers other advantages for printing. There is no odor and it has excellent UV and long-term stability. Its narrow boiling ranges offer total control of evaporation and press stability. It is also classified as readily biodegradable according to OECD306/301B guidelines.

Once Scriptane Biolife was ready, Bardin said that it was logical that Total work together with Schuite. “We have chosen S&S as a preferred partner for the initial development tests in the heatset market segment,” he added. Schuite said that the disadvantages of Bionomic 1.0 are now solved.

“Certainly, the availability of the raw material is no longer a problem,” Schuite said. “Scriptane Biolife has unlimited availability. The whole heatset ink market, although there still is a price difference, can be supplied. Bionomic 2.0 together with Total’s Scriptane Biolife makes sure the heatset industry is ready for the future, no matter what the demands will be.”

“I saw samples and went into the lab, and Bionomic 2.0 was born,” De Geest said. “The price was less expensive than 1.0. Bionomic 2.0 is also drying better, so printers don’t have to raise the temperature as much, and the availability of the raw materials is much better. The VOC content of 2.0 is 25% lower.” Schuite said that the reaction at drupa was excellent. “We are starting to get movement in this market,” he said. “We already have people coming by asking about Bionomic 2.0.” Schuite said that it is gratifying to know that innovation and the environment can work hand-in-hand. “It is good to realize that no other company is active in this area,” Schuite concluded. “Total is being creative and innovative and Schuite & Schuite is doing this in the ink world.”