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The Future of Toner: Life-Cycle Inventory, Impacts and Environmental Technologies

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A recent life-cycle assessment (LCA) on remanufacturing of toner cartridges in partnership with a major office supplies retailer determined that the toner is responsible for a significant portion of the full life cycle energy and environmental impact, as well as the energy required to produce a remanufactured cartridge. The details and results of this LCA will be discussed in this paper. Since toner resulted in a key component of the lifecycle, there is considerable opportunity to reduce the environmental impact and energy use of a toner cartridge through the use of more environmentally friendly toners. In anticipation of companies designing copiers and printers that use more environmentally friendly toners, this paper investigates the environmental impacts of these toners. Examples of toners that claim a smaller environmental footprint are emulsion-aggregation toner from Xerox, Simitri HD toner from Konica Minolta, and biobased toner resin, BioRez® by Advanced Image Resources, Inc. The life-cycle impact of the toners and a qualitative assessment of the environmental tradeoffs associated with petroleum based toners versus bio-based toners are investigated in order to more accurately compare these toners.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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