VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed new technologies for further use of wastepaper in an optimal and environmentally acceptable way. The particular problem in this process was the mixing of digitally printed paper and normal household wastepaper in the collection phase, which deteriorates the de-inking result. The new technologies improve the recyclability of fibres and decrease the amount of unexploitable fibre. These alternative technologies can make the conventional de-inking processes more efficient and even replace them.
The new technologies, high-power ultrasound processing and magnetic separation, enable printing ink to be separated from fibres with lower amounts of chemicals in comparison to current technologies. This environmentally friendly process saves fibres, improves the recyclability of them and decreases the amount of unexploitable fibres, the so-called zero fibres.
Conventional methods, generally flotation and/or washing, are well-suited to the processing of household wastepaper for the time being. However, increased amounts of digitally printed paper in household wastepaper will significantly change the situation in terms of both ink composition and adhesion. In de-inking it is essential that the size of printing ink particles, or the non-uniformity of ink, is correct when de-inking is performed by flotating.
Pia Qvintus-Leino | alfa
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