The Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 2, Number 1
Apr 1989


To the Editor:

Thank you for your letter of 11 November. There is no British law or regulation requiring HMSO to print its publications on permanent or acid-free paper.

We are well aware of the problems that are now being experienced with books printed on mechanically ground wood pulp because of the effects of lignin and alum used to produce this paper.

In 1985 we decided to take positive measures and introduce acid-free papers into the production of some of our sale publications. Whilst it would not be practicable at present to introduce acid-free paper across the whole range of our publishing--much of which is in any case rather ephemeral in nature--we now specify acid-free paper where a publication is judged to be of a permanent value and archival interest. Examples include Bound Volumes of Public General Acts and Statutory Instruments (our primary and secondary legislation), major Public Record Office titles, Royal Commission Historical Monuments inventories and Cabinet Office Historical Series. We are also planning to standardize on acid-free paper at our main printing factory responsible for printing a large proportion of Parliamentary publications.

You may be interested to know that this press produces two prints of each Act of Parliament on durable vellum. After examination by the Public Bill Office of the House of Commons, they are endorsed with the words by which the Royal Assent was signified, signed by the Clerk of the Parliaments and become the Official Copies of the Art. One print is sent for custody to the Public Record Office and the other to the House of Lords Record Office.

... Our Supply Division is well informed about acid-free papers, the standards, the suppliers and the various classifications of papers manufactured. They use this knowledge to assist our customers, government departments and other public bodies to obtain the right material for a particular task.

I included a short article on acid-free paper in a Publications Newsletter I edit. [This article, enclosed with the letter, says that "50% of HMSO's purchases of standard printing paper are non-acidic."]

R. C. Barnard
Deputy Director
Publications Division, HMO

To the Editor:

Inasmuch as Glatfelter practices alkaline paper at all three of its mill locations (and has done so for years), and because we are the leading manufacturer of book publishing papers in the United States, I read with interest the Alkaline Paper Advocate. I would offer comment on two item which appeared in the December 1988 issue.

The first item concerns the brief discussion on recycled paper which appeared in that issue. I've noted lately, both in this article and in other commentary on paper permanence, that there seems to be a sense that recycled fiber and paper permanence are mutually exclusive. That simply is not true. Our mill in Neenah, Wisconsin is producing high quality printing and writing papers using recycled fiber produced in our "state-of-the-art" wastepaper deinking operation. We practice alkaline papermaking at this mill and these papers are produced to the same high quality standards we have established in our other mills. I know that other mills employing wastepaper deinking processes are also producing high quality permanent printing papers. To suggest that recycled fiber is inappropriate in a permanent paper is to perpetuate a myth.

With respect to the final comment in your recycling article about the acceptability of alkaline paper by wastepaper dealers, the only incidence of this "reluctance!' of which we are aware is related to high grade waste, commonly referred to as pulp substitute, which is used as direct replacement of market pulp. That issue was raised several years ago with respect to one grade of pulp substitute and, to the best of our knowledge, no current problem exists on that grade. The high grades of wastepaper and pulp substitutes have been in strong demand and we know of no dealer who is reluctant to accept alkaline papers.

In the same issue of the Advocate, there was a question from a United States Postal Service chemist as to whether or not stamps could be printed on permanent paper. Since some of our paper is used for stamps by the Postal Service, I am pleased to advise that not only can permanent paper be used but, in fact, currently is being used to produce stamps.

We are pleased to see your leadership in providing a forum an alkaline papers.

Anthony Liberatore
Product Manager
P.H. Glatfelter Company

To the Editor:

Reference is made to the article in the Alkaline Paper Advocate, Volume 1, No. 5, page 50, "A Seller's Market." We have experienced a failure of phloroglucinol to react with CTMP pulps in alkaline sized papers containing calcium carbonate. It appeared that the calcium carbonate neutralized the hydrochloric acid portion of the indicator solution before the phloroglucinol had an opportunity to react with the pulp. This was corrected by first applying hydrochloric acid to neutralize the calcium carbonate and then following it up with the phloroglucinol indicator solution. The papers that we were testing had a very high calcium carbonate level and it may be with lower levels of carbonate, the test will perform properly.

If the technician observes effervescence when applying the phloroglucinol indicator solution, the presence of calcium carbonate should be suspected. Although we did not try it, perhaps a liberal application of the phloroglucinol indicator solution would have neutralized the carbonate and allowed the color reaction to take place.

Rolland Aubey
Manager, Product Development
Nekoosa Papers

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