TAPPI Member Prakash Malla, Ph.D., Honored for Innovative Research Efforts

Prakash Malla, Ph.D., long-time TAPPI member and editor of the recent book publication, "Pigments for Paper and Paperboard," was recently honored with the prestigious G. W. Brindley Clay Science Lecture Award at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Clay Minerals Society. This esteemed award was presented in Honolulu, Hawaii in June. The award recognizes individuals who introduce new ideas and are deeply involved in innovative research.

Dr. Malla's recognition underscores his significant contributions to the field of clay mineralogy. Holding a doctorate in Clay Mineralogy and Clay Chemistry from Rutgers University, Dr. Malla has extensively studied the layer charge properties of expandable 2:1 clay minerals and is a renowned expert in clay mineralogy and clay chemistry. With a distinguished career spanning academia and industry, Dr. Malla has made significant contributions to material science and engineering, particularly in the development of nanoporous materials. He is a prolific inventor (16 U.S. patents), and a dedicated educator, committed to advancing the field through innovative research and knowledge sharing.

An active TAPPI member for over 32 years, and a TAPPI Fellow for six years, Dr. Malla has significantly contributed to the industry in the area of paper and paperboard coating by serving on numerous steering committees, technical boards and leadership programs.  In addition to presenting at many TAPPI courses, he has also authored numerous papers, and books.  In his most recent editorial role, Dr. Malla oversaw compilation of the latest edition of "Pigments for Paper and Paperboard," released in June 2024.

It has been more than 25 years since the first edition, titled “Pigments and Paper,” was published.  During that time, the paper industry has evolved significantly due to technological advancements and the growth of the internet. Digital printing presses, which were in their early stages back then, are now expanding at a much faster pace compared to traditional methods.

The increase in e-commerce has also led to the expansion of paperboard. Therefore, the latest edition of the book, now titled "Pigments for Paper and Paperboard," encompasses these changes and reflects the broadening scope of the industry. It contains the latest information on the various pigments used in paper coating and filling.

The Addition of Mineral Pigments

"This new edition focuses on biobased and non-biobased aqueous dispersions, as traditional barrier materials are being phased out due to their environmental impact," stated Dr. Malla.  "The inclusion of various mineral pigments provides opportunities for developing cost-effective coatings with enhanced barrier performance while improving the recyclability of these materials for both food and nonfood packaging applications."

In addition to serving industry professionals, Dr. Malla emphasized that the new edition is a valuable reference for college students and professors in paper science and engineering, materials science, economic geology, mining, and mineral processing engineering. With contributions from 12 new authors and covering 10 essential pigments, this 13-chapter edition serves as both an introductory guide and a comprehensive reference for those involved in the papermaking process.

To review the book’s table of contents and/or to purchase “Pigments for Paper and Paperboard,” visit the TAPPI website.