Slime Control



Formation of slime deposits is a major problem facing paper industries. The current papermaking trends have a negative influence on the treatment programs as, for example, microbiological control in mills that use alkaline or neutral processes can end up by being several times more expensive than that in the factories that operate in an acid medium. Also, when secondary fibers are used as raw material, the cost of the average treatment per ton of paper can be double of that of virgin fiber. Slime-producing microbes secrete extracellular polysaccharides that gum up the process machinery. The specific nature of slime and its formation depend on the mill environment. Correspondingly, countermeasures vary with the type of slime deposit. Conventional slime control methods generally employ combinations of biocides. This leads to effluent toxicity, as well as high processing and treatment costs. Therefore, alternative control measures are in demand. Such measures are the use of enzymes, biodispersants, bacteriophages, competing organisms, and biological complex formers. Use of enzymes for slime control is expected to bring important benefits for the pulp and paper industry. Enzymes represent a clean and sustainable technology: they are nontoxic, readily biodegradable, and produced using renewable raw materials. This methodology will contribute to efforts to reduce water consumption and facilitate the use of recycled fibers. Industry will gain the advantage of more eco-efficient processes, which will also have impact on consumers as a whole especially with respect to the elimination of undesirable substances in food packaging materials. Many enzymatic products are already in industrial use around the world and many additional products are currently being designed and tested for a wide variety of specific applications. Use of enzymes in combination with biodispersants appears to be a promising method for slime control. Nevertheless, whatever the nature of the new applications, the eventual changeover to biocide-free methods will be possible only when the new technologies become beneficial and realistic replacements. At least in the near future, the great challenge is to reduce the possibility of running paper machines on a totally ecological basis.


Slime control Slime Slime deposit Microbiological control Biocides Enzymes Biodispersants Microbicides Bacteriophages Paper machine Biofilm 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pulp and Paper ConsultantKanpurIndia

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