French start-up Cilkoa aims to raise the bar when it comes to paper packaging barrier solutions.
Founded in June 2022 by a quartet of technicians specialized in the paper industry and microelectronics, Cilkoa is a treatment for cellulose-based packaging materials. The technology provides what are described as “unprecedented” barrier solutions, notably hydrophobic properties and barriers to gases, water vapor and oxygen. The cosmetics and food industries are a target segment, as Cilkoa can reduce or even eliminate components derived from fossil fuels.
Composed of a ceramic layer (or more precisely aluminum oxide or alumina) measuring just a few nanometers, the invisible treatment is the result of a chemical reaction, which does not affect the product’s recyclability.
The company explains that the technology has a proportionally low cost in relation to the mass of packaging treated and does not interfere with the pulp manufacturing process. It enters the process downstream thanks to the addition of a heat chamber dedicated to the treatment in the converters' production line. The paper and cardboard can be processed in rolls, or in pre-formed packaging for packaging inserts, for example. Cilkoa is giving itself two more years to finalize the process and install a first pilot line.