The same chemicals that make fabrics wrinkle-free are sometimes used as wet-strength additives in papermaking. The original durable-press process, introduced in the 1960s, used formaldehyde-based chemicals, which worked by developing cellulose crosslinks within the fiber. Now that formaldehyde is known to cause health problems, the textile industry has been looking for alternative crosslinking agents. One of the new processes, one that uses polycarboxylic acids and catalysts, has been used with paper. It increased wet strength and did not reduce tensile strength, but gave poor fold strength, as one might expect from a process that induces crosslinking. This is reported in "Application of Durable-Press Treatment to Bleached Softwood Kraft Handsheets," by D. Horie and C.J. Biermann, in Tappi Journal v.77 #8, p. 135-140.
Crosslinking, which is one of the first chemical reactions to be observed paper during accelerated aging, causes a temporary increase of strength in the sample. It can be induced in polymers like cellulose by chemicals, heat (as in vulcanization of rubber) or radiation; it also occurs naturally in proteins like insulin and in stable polysaccharides like dextran. The chemical dictionary says it is the "attachment of two chains of polymer molecules by bridges composed of either an element, a group, or a compound...." (3B1.8)
Otto Terentyev, a professor and rector at the Technological University of Plant Polymers in St. Petersburg, Russia, visited the Forest Products Lab in Madison and the IPST in Atlanta this summer to tell them about the "aerodynamic papermaking process" they have developed at the University. The description below is quoted from IASPM Newsletter No. 2, July 1994, p. 3. (The IASPM is the International Association of Scientific Papermakers, a group formed 35 years ago that now has 220 active members in 24 countries. It does not hold conferences; people just get together to have dinner and talk. Membership is by invitation. The president and newsletter editor is Michael MacGregor, who is with Voith, Inc., 2620 E. Glendale Ave., Appleton, WI 54915.)
"The Technological University has developed the technology of making writing and printing papers without water and at 2000 m/min production speeds. The paper machinery is 5X cheaper than present machinery and about half the size. Making the paper is 15 to 20% cheaper. There are no effluents. Although air forming has been used for years for filter and tissue paper, the secret for writing and printing papers is in not having to use chemical reinforcing agents for strength. A rapid return on investment is expected.
"Here's how to get in touch with Otto:
"Professor Otto Terentyev, Rector, Technological University of Plant Polymers, 4 Ivan Cheruykh St., St. Petersburg 198092, Russia, Phone 7 812 186 57 44; fax 7 812 186 86 00." (3B3)
Stevens & Thompson Paper Co. Inc., Greenwich, NY, signed an agreement last spring with Ithaca College in New York to recycle the school's wastepaper and return it to the campus as toilet tissue. Larry Reddon, the company's Materials Manager, confirmed by telephone October 6 that both parties to the agreement, which is just one part of the College's general recycling policy, are very pleased with the way it is working out.
Stevens & Thompson makes regular, free pickups of wastepaper collected in the containers it provides. It recycles the paper at its state-of-the-art conversion plant and sells the tissue paper back to the college at a favorable rate. The college, in turn, saves thousands of dollars on its normal toilet tissue bill.
The agreement also expands the kinds of papers that can be recycled--computer paper, junk mail, brochures, check stock, colored paper, copier paper, envelopes with or without windows, file folders, magazines and textbooks. By recycling 190,000 pounds of wastepaper annually, the college says it expects to be recycling four times the amount of paper it did five years ago. (3B3.6)
Production capacity for recovered paper market pulp is no longer the bottleneck it was. Producers plan to increase their capacity to 1.7 million tons annually in 1996, a 37% increase over 1993. The industry expects to be recycling 50% of all paper produced by the year 2000. (From PIMA Magazine, Jan. 1994, p. 26) (3B3.6)
Georgia-Pacific's Canton, Ohio, mill was certified under the ISO 9001 standard of excellence (the most stringent of the three) in July, and E.B. Eddy's mill in Port Huron, Michigan, was certified under 9002. The E.B. Eddy Ottawa/Hull Division is working toward the goal of being certified in 1995.
ISO 9000 certification demonstrates the capability of a manufacturer to control the various processes affecting the acceptability of a product to a customer. (3B3.7)
The federal government does not gather statistics on production or use of kenaf, the plant that it identified in the 1940s as the best alternative to wood fiber. However, Charles Taylor of Kenaf International, in southern Texas, when contacted by phone, gave some ballpark figures for his own production for the last three years: no production in 1991; 1000 tons in 1992; and 2500 tons in 1993. Kenaf can be used for a large number of purposes besides paper. (3B3.84)