Gone are the days when you had to put a new paper in a printer every time you wanted a printout. The latest ink eraser system equipped with a xenon lamp effectively removes ink from papers and makes them reprintable. There is considerable wastage of papers in our offices and homes. Once a printed paper serves its purpose, it’s of no use unless it’s recycled and once again a completely blank white sheet. However, that requires enormous expense and also has a detrimental effect on the environment. But not anymore! Photocopies, faxes, or prints – all these used papers would no longer need to undergo the recycling process. A team of researchers has developed an ink eraser that could remove all the ink from the paper.
How does the laser Ink eraser work?
Un-printing a paper involves high costs, both monetary and environmental. But now, researchers have developed a method to remove ink without damaging the environment or putting a heavy burden on the pocket. They call it the “de-printer.” The system involves a xenon lamp. Scientists blasted the printed paper with the intense light of the xenon lamp.
They found out that it loosened the ink from the paper used by laser printers and photocopiers. A simple ethanol wash after the process returns an entirely blank fresh-looking white paper. Moreover, the method works on all types of paper, even recycled ones. Finally, there is a way to use printed paper multiple times. This will prevent the massive wastage of paper and reduce the environmental impact associated with the recycling process.
Advantage over other ink erasers?
Several methods exist for removing ink from the paper. Most of the ink erasers work by vaporizing the toner from the paper. However, this method has limitations. It does not work on standard coated paper, mainly used in homes and offices. The new method allows to ‘un-print’ the same paper a maximum of five times. Moreover, it works on nearly all types of papers.
Does it also erase what we print at home with an inkjet printer? The answer is no. It does not work with inkjet printers. In inkjet printing, the ink completely penetrates the paper and therefore becomes permanent and cannot be removed. The new ink eraser only works with toner. The system only removes ink from paper printed on either laser printers or copiers.
Ink erasers could have substantial positive impacts on the printing and paper recycling industry. By cutting the steps involved in recycling a paper and bringing it back to a reusable state, ink erasers will reduce carbon emissions and energy costs. The researchers are working on improving the un-printing system further so that it can be deployed on a larger scale. They are working on integrating the eraser directly into the output tray of the printer. So, instead of throwing the paper in the trash can after reading the content, you can put it back in the paper tray for un-printing and obtain fresh paper.