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The Problem: A paper manufacturer came to us with a customer complaint about their copy paper. The paper had a noticeable dead fish odor to it when it was run through the copier, obviously not a desirable attribute.
The Analysis: The GCMS expert at SGS-IPS Testing developed a plan to identify the cause of the mal odor. The sample was analyzed by GCMS Static Headspace with an Olfactory Port Detector. The analyst confirmed the off-odors in the copy paper were volatile organic compounds
The Conclusion: It was determined that Acetic acid and Butanoic acid was present. These two compounds are Volatile Fatty Acids, and they are most often produced from anaerobic fermentation in the starch during the wet-end coating of the papermaking process. The paper manufacturer selected an appropriate biocide to control the problem in their process and the odor problem was fixed.