Imagine that your printer has the classic "print" button and next to it there is another one with "destprint" on it. You press it, insert pre-printed sheets and you find them blank again. How much paper would we save in the world?
A research team has created a method for “de-printing” sheets that works with normal paper already on the market and present in homes and offices around the planet.
The new method makes use of the pulsed light of a xenon lamp and is capable of erasing black, blue, red and green toner without damaging the paper. The study was featured on Journal of Cleaner Production.
“Our method makes it possible to print, reprint and reprint several times on the same sheet. Currently we have managed to allow this to be done 5 times. In fact, therefore, we can print and reprint a sheet 5 times before having to recycle it. We would cut conventional paper recycling costs with related pollution and environmental impact to a fifth, " says the coauthor of the study Rajiv Malhotra. Rajiv is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering of Rutgers University-New Brunswick.
Recycling of printed paper is a major contributor to harmful emissions, the study says. The benefits forenvironment which would result from the possibility of reprinting the card would therefore be gigantic.
The next move
The engineers at Rutgers are now trying to refine the method by testing different types of toners. The goal is obviously to maximize the effectiveness of de-printing on all types of color and paper.
The extremely low consumption (the process includes the use of an infinitesimal amount of non-toxic alcohol) and the rapidity of application make it a very promising method.