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Optical brightening agents in paper

Optical brightening agents are components that are used in the paper industries to reinforce whitening results of papers. These chemical compounds soak up mild in the ultraviolet and violet area (often 340-370nm) and re-emit mild in the blue area (sometimes 420-470 nm). It provides a fluorescent impact that masks the inherent yellowness of the fiber and enhances the brightness of the paper product. They not solely used in paper but in addition used in plastics, textiles, laundry detergents. They are often known as optical brighteners, synthetic whiteners. It is one type of coating agent.
Optical brightening agents in paper
The optical brighteners might be utilized in both the moist finish or dry finish or each finish. If you need to inner brightness then you must add them to the inventory in moist finish. Many paper manufactures use them in dry finish on the measurement press or calender stack as floor coating. The dry finish software is extra economical examine to the moist finish as a result of in the dry finish the chemical are used on the outer floor fiber in lieu of complete fiber content material for displays the ultraviolet mild. However some producers use a mixture therapy; they use each the moist and dry finish.

Types of optical brightening agents

The optical brighteners which can be used in paper industries might be type into three sorts based mostly on the sulfonic teams. All of them include stilbene construction.

Disulfonated OBAs

This OBAs incorporates two sulphonic teams. They are hydrophobic and have an excellent affinity. The solubility could be very low. Normally it’s used in moist finish.

Tetrasulfonated sorts

This OBAs incorporates 4 sulphonic teams. It has medium affinity and good solubility so very best for paper industries each in moist finish and dry finish. They are appropriate for impartial or alkaline pH medium. It is commonest kind of OBAs which can be used in paper and paper board.

Hexasulfonated OBAs

hexasulfonated OBAs incorporates six sulphonic teams. It is particular kind of brightener which has wonderful solubility. Mostly it’s used in these papers the place excessive brightness is required akin to photographic paper. They are used in dry finish as coating.

Optical brightener’s chemistry

We know that optical brightening agents are stilbene derivatives. The stilbene is a diphenylethene which consist two stereo-isomer – trans-isomer and cis-isomer. Between these two configurations, the trans-isomer can reveals robust fluorescence whereas the cis-isomer doesn’t exhibit fluorescence. The trans configuration is extra steady than cis configuration however when the uv mild utilized on the trans configuration then it change into electronically exited and transformed into cis configuration. Consequently the fluorescence phenomenon happens in. The seen blue mild successfully neutralizes the cream coloration or yellowish hue of the paper fiber.
Optical brightener’s chemistry


All the optical brightening agents are dyestuffs. As like many of the different colorants in addition they degraded by oxygen in air slowly. So after a number of years or months, the rising brightness of the paper with optical brighteners will lower. As a outcome the printed paper won’t look good. Thus some individuals doesn’t like print on the paper with synthetic brightness. Similarly it isn’t helpful in photographic or artwork functions. On the opposite hand in some locations or some printers the OBAs wouldn’t work. Therefore the paper will seem its regular brightness. This is the rationale why some printed papers have a yellowish hue. Although the OBAs are environment friendly on bleached chemical pulps however it’s ineffective on unbleached pulp on account of lignin can be an ultraviolet absorbing agent.


Normally the customers anticipate increased brightness paper and paper boards. But on a regular basis the brightness of pulp and fillers can’t fulfill the focused brightness. Therefore the manufactures use totally different kind of optical brightening agents. Most of the paper producers add these chemical substances in order to make paper seem brighter.

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