How and what is paper made of?

Posted on Feb 22, 2021      127

A brief history of paper production

Mankind consumes an enormous amount of paper. 1 person uses about 150 kg of paper a year! We are talking about notebooks, magazines, books, paper bags and cardboard boxes for packaging, paper used for sanitary purposes, napkins, paper towels and toilet paper.

Many paper products are made from recycled materials, that is, from waste paper. According to statistics, the more developed country, the more paper it uses.

Paper production is extremely harmful to the environment, paper mills emit excessive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A lot of forests are cut down for paper, because it is the trees, or rather the fibers of cellulose in it, are the raw materials for paper products.

Other sources of wood used for paper are stunted or diseased trees that are cut down so that they do not interfere with other trees to grow and develop. Branches of large trees are also used, from which boards are produced, and the branches go to the production of paper.

Paper is a weave of fibers of cellulose, the major component of wood. They are very close together, and the sap of the trees flows between them. These fibers are interconnected in nature with a semblance of glue.

To make cellulose, wood chips are placed in a large vat of water and chemicals. These chemical compounds break down the natural glue and produce fibers. The resulting fibers are straightened and washed and bleached with chlorine or hydrogen peroxide. These fibers are then dried and smoothed with rotating hot drums. The result is a paper that is dense and perfectly dry, which is then wound into large rolls.

If colored paper or cardboard is required, dyes are added during the pulping process.

If the paper is made from waste paper, it is shredded and sent to large boilers with water to wash it from the printing ink and ink with chemicals. The result is something like paper dough. This mass is then filtered, and the water drained off. Dyes are used to enhance the whiteness of the paper. By the way, this method of making paper is less harmful to the environment.