Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Technology Unit 4: Paper recycling process

Paper and board are two types of materials that can be easily recycled. In 2014, 5.052.900 tonnes of paper were collected and recycled in Spain.

The first step of the recycling process consist of collecting paper and board separately from other materials because if paper is contaminated with another substance it cannot be recycled.

Once the materials arrive to the factory, they are smashed and thrown into a tank where they are mixed with several solvents that separate the paper fibers (which are easily dissolved) from other materials (such as plastic) 

When the paper fibers are dissolved, a sieve separates the other materials and afterwards, ink is removed by introducing air bubbles in the tank. Ink joins the bubbles and moves to the surface, where it is removed from the tank.

The last step consists of whiten the fibers again and for this purpose, hydrogen peroxide is added to the tank.

Finally, water is removed from the tank and the fibers of paper are laminated and dried to create new sheets. 

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