The Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 5, Number 2
May 1992


More about Kenaf

There is a Eurokenaf group, which focuses on using kenaf for high-yield pulp production, according to an Italian article in Cellul. Carta for Sept./Oct. 1991. And in Nigeria, where kenaf (Hibiscus canadinus) is a local weed, a pilot pulping plant for the long fiber pulp may be built at Jebba Paper Mill. At least three of the papers on kenaf presented at the 1991 Pulping Conference in Orlando are abstracted in the April 1992 Paper and Board Abstracts.

Preservation News

Nordion International Inc., world leader in gamma radiation technology, is carrying out a feasibility study on the book-strengthening technique developed for the British Library by the University of Surrey several years ago. Ethyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate in a 5:1 ratio, according to an article in the April 1987 New Scientist, are introduced into the chamber with the book, and polymerized with the aid of gamma radiation. The books do not become radioactive, but their pages are strengthened.

If feasibility is demonstrated, the intention is to establish a joint facility in the UK, and only later expand to other countries.


Dioxins and furans existing in nature apparently find their way into virgin paper by deposition, and thus show up in both recycled paper and the effluent from recycled paper mills, according to a paper by X.T. Nguyen of Domtar, at CPPA's First Research Forum on Recycling last October. Other impurities accumulate in recycled paper and must be dealt with, according to a representative of Papiertechnische Stiftung in Germany at the same conference.

A Japanese scientist has discovered that wastepaper-based mills may produce more dioxin than ordinary pulp and paper mills, according to a story in the September Pulp & Paper International. He was probably being over-cautious, because his samples showed almost 40 times as much dioxin as a pulp mill. The Japanese Environmental Protection Agency is doing a study of dioxin levels in and around major paper mills.


Post-it Notes, according to the advertising, are 100% recycled. Moreover, according to the experience of recycled paper mills, they are recyclable too. They use a water-dispersable particulate adhesive which can be removed by either flotation or washing, but which can also be left in without ill effect, according to the February Tappi Journal on p. 26.

Appleton Papers, whose carbonless ("NCR") papers are alkaline but whose fine papers are acidic, makes its "Recover" brand of carbonless and fax paper with recycled fiber: 50% total deinked fiber and 10% post-consumer waste.

Georgia-Pacific's Hopper mill now makes a recycled text and cover that comes in a range of weights and colors, and is alkaline as well. It contains 15% post-consumer waste and 50% total recycled waste, and is called "Valorem."

Another thing you can do with old paper besides make new paper out of it is to make pencils. It replaces the wood. But the process is not easy. A company called Lydall Inc. worked for 18 months and spent well over a million dollars to make it work. The resulting product, called LPB (Lydall Pencil Board) 100, is being used by Faber Castell to make its newest line of pencils, called American EcoWriter. They cost a bit more than regular pencils now, but that could change. LPB 100 may also have a future in the manufacture of lawn furniture, paintbrush handles, rulers and chopsticks. (Information from the Hartford Courant, about April 20.)

Fluorescent Brighteners

Optical brighteners are not welcome in waste paper being recycled, according to one paper broker. Some mills will not accept paper for deinking if it contains them. They are also not allowed in papers that will contact food during storage and handling.

A 1990 paper by M. Carbonniere in Caractere, a French journal, says that two of the requirements for "durable" paper are that it should contain no optical brighteners and should use neutral, light-resistant colorants. But about half of the permanent paper manufacturers listed in the little booklet put out by the Deutsches Bibliotheksinstitut a year ago use optical brighteners. Many of the manufacturers are outside Germany. In the back of the booklet is a "quality guarantee" for the supplier to sign, stating that the paper has a pH of 7.5 to 9.5, at least 3% calcium or magnesium carbonate, no groundwood (? it says "verholzten") fibers, and all bleached cellulose or rag fibers. It does not specify strength at all.

A review of fluorescent whiteners for paper was published in Paper South Africa in the July-August 1991 issue. The author, M. Parker, says that there are three kinds used in the paper industry: tetrasulpho, hexasulpho and disulpho. He describes how they are used.

Background information on this topic appears in the December 1990 issue of this newsletter.

EC holds "Experts' Meeting" on Paper Problem

An "experts' meeting" was held December 17-19,1991, in the National Library of the Netherlands under the auspices of the Commission of the European Communities. It was called "Conservation of Acid Paper--Use of Permanent Paper." It passed a resolution, printed in the January 1992 Library Conservation News, in which five priorities for urgent action are identified: to promote the collection and exchange of information, using existing international organizations; to study matters brought up in the meeting; to stimulate conservation (i.e., preservation) training for library and archives staff; to organize a second meeting of experts within the next year; and to report and publicize the results of the meeting. It also recommended that EC institutions and governments use permanent paper, and that EC find some organization to compile guides to products and services and act as an information clearing house. (This information reprinted from the Abbey Newsletter.)

Derek Priest of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) was one of two UK representatives.

The EC is also sponsoring a multinational study of the effect of pollution on deacidified paper. Sweden, France and the Netherlands are carrying out the work. John Havermans of the TNO Timber Research Institute in the Netherlands had a poster on this project at the recent conference of the Institute of Paper Conservation in Manchester, England.

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