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The Application of High Intensity Ultrasound to the De-inking of Recycled Papers

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This paper presents work done by the authors on the application of high intensity ultrasound to the de-inking of waste papers printed with digitally printed inks. These include fused toners, indigo inks and UV cured coatings. Generally, these are considered to be ‘difficult to de-ink’ systems when present in conventional recycling de-inking plants because they are difficult both to detach from the paper fibres and to break down to particle sizes that can be removed by conventional flotation techniques.

For all the systems investigated it was possible to both detach and reduce the size of particles down to flotatable size range of 20 to 120 microns. Temperature was found to play a role in heat fusible toner printed materials. De-inking of the tough films produced by UV curing inks showed no temperature dependence. Indigo inks which have been feared top present problems to the recycling industry found to be relatively easy to de-ink. The general conclusions are that the application of ultrasound can be used to aid the de-inking of waste paper and reduce the number of chemicals used.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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