..of “How paper is made”

The new Idea ad is indeed ‘what as idea Sirji’.. Loved it ,except that I didn’t understand why Sirji is beating that poor fellow in the end.The ad made me think on how paper is made. It is indeed a complex ,yet interesting process. I don’t understand the whole process in complete  ,so thought of going with the kids-version of explanation. This link explains the whole process beautifully,with diagrams. Anybody intersted can check it out. For the rest of poor laymen like me,read below..

You gotta have fiber!
Over the centuries, paper has been made from a wide variety of materials — wood pulp, rice, water plants, cotton, even old clothes! But no matter what you use to make paper — you need “fiber.” Today’s paper fiber comes mainly from two sources — pulpwood logs and recycled paper products. In fact, much of the paper we use every day is a blend of new and recycled fiber.

From log to pulp.
Much of the paper produced in Idaho is made from “waste” — the tree parts from logging and sawmill operations that can’t be made into lumber. After harvesting, trees are cut into logs and are transported to the mill. At the mill, a debarker removes the bark from each log. The log is cut into boards of varying sizes. The wood that’s left over is then converted into wood chips, about the size of corn flakes (though not as tasty in milk!).

The wood chips are then put into “pulp digesters” where they are broken down by steam and chemicals into a gloppy pudding of cellulose fibers and other wood components. In another process, the chemicals, wood resins, and wood lignin (sort of a natural glue in the wood) are removed. The cellulose fibers are cleaned and screened many times to get them ready to be made into paper.

 From pulp to paper.
The paper pulp (from wood chips, recycled paper, or both) is fed into the paper-making machine. A pump sprays a thin layer of the liquid paper pulp onto a moving wire screen. This screen can be up to 20 feet wide, and can travel at speeds of 60 miles per hour. That’s fast paper!

As the pulp is carried along by the screen, the water in it drops away, and the cellulose fibers become matted together, forming paper. While the paper is still damp, it is fed through a series of heated rollers which press it and dry it. The paper is then spooled into huge rolls, cut into various sizes, and converted into paper products.

From paper to more paper.
Recycling paper helps make sure we get the most out of every tree we use. And it helps keep paper from clogging up our landfills. Each time paper is recycled, the cellulose fibers get shorter, until eventually the paper won’t hold together. That’s why most “recycled” papers contain some new paper fibers mixed in with the old. [link]


EarthAnswers – How Much Paper Can Be Made from a Tree?

It is impossible to know exactly how much paper can be made from one tree.

But let’s assume that the following paper products have been produced using 100 percent hardwood. A cord of wood is approximately 8 feet wide, 4 feet deep, and 4 feet high. A cord of air-dried, dense hardwood (oak, hickory, etc.) weighs roughly 2 tons, about 15-20 percent of which is water.

It has been estimated that one cord of this wood will yield one of these approximate quantities of products:

  • 1,000-2,000 pounds of paper (depending on the process)
  • 942 100-page, hard-cover books
  • 61,370 No. 10 business envelopes
  • 4,384,000 commemorative-sized postage stamps
  • 460,000 personal checks
  • 1,200 copies of National Geographic
  • 2,700 copies of an average daily newspaper
  • Source: A Tree for Each American, American Forest & Paper Association, Washington, DC[….]

    And finally,did you know that paper can be made from banana stem too?

    Ranjani Raghavan writes in the Indian Express about Kailash Thate, who set up an agro processing unit to extract fibers from banana stems which are then used to manufacture paper. Over time, Kailash found that more than 400 banana growers were interested in his technology resulting in at least 60 farmers setting up their own plants.

    And the benefits?:

    Thate is confident his business would grow manifold but he would also have to pay growers from where he gets stems for free now. “It cost me Rs 20,000 to set up the unit but I have nothing to lose as the first consignment that I have already sent would get me Rs 40,000,” he said while supervising the unit. [….]

    Tho whole process is explained here beautifully in simple words.


    Interesting na? 🙂

    Good day to all..

    p.s :Thanks a lot for all your thoughts and comments.I am extrememly sorry for not responding on time.The busy schedules at college and at home don’t allow me to take enough time I need to spent with you all.Sorry for that,but yeah,I do visit almost all my regular readers blogs. Keep in touch.Bye.

    None of the images belong to me,but to those linked accordingly.

    1. Really interesting Nimmy … a gud read indeed 🙂

      Did nt know abt the new and recycled fiber mixing part before.

      Thanks for sharing and don’t b sorry pls 🙂 Have a nice time 🙂

    2. waah… this is good research and more fuel to my preaching to all to plant trees… !!!

    3. wow. this is interesting stuff.

    4. very interesting post!

    5. wow.. thats really interesting… In schools I have learned about making of glas… this is good…

      and this should be entered into school syllabus and make the stuents think..

      and hope you are well… 🙂 🙂 and take care… 🙂

    6. Wow. Your article is awe-inspiring and a some example for others. By dropping a line it down you are making a sense of accountability and structure to your destinations. retain it up. keep blogging. Thanks for sharing.

    7. Interesting stuff. Have done once an internship in paper mill near Delhi, was knowing few of points earlier. Overall, thanks for it.

    8. very interesting read Nimmy!
      Thank you sharing all this info 🙂
      We had something along these lines in school, but all these details make it a fascinating read 🙂

      • JITENDRA
      • August 9th, 2010

      Pls let me know about banana stems that is used to manufacture paper.

      • jevennett
      • August 22nd, 2010

      I would like to start a banana fibre paper project in Papua New Guinea, and i need some information on how best to start and some costs involved, can you assist?

      • Narendra
      • March 5th, 2011

      I would like to start a banana fibre paper project in Jalgaon (Maharashtra), and i need some information on how best to start and some costs involved, can you assist?

    9. Readers may also be interested to watch my 15-minute documentary on how paper is made. “The Paper People” is now free to watch on my YouTube channel. Just go to http://www.EyesEars.com

    10. hi I am interested about the banana paper so ive decide to make it us our feasibility study. i would like to us some information about the process and the machines that used by making this products

      Thank you hope you will responds . we really need it for our study

    1. March 18th, 2010
      Trackback from : id credit repair

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