OOK-Press Nyomda Kft. has been producing printed publications for nearly 30 years. Every day, we lend physical form to thoughts that might take the form of a book by the end of our production process. During the process of binding, a by-product called PAPER-DUST is produced, which, until now, was deemed unfit for recycling. The flour-like, fine dust produced during the milling and roughing of the spine of the textblock made up of the folded sheets has physical and chemical properties that prevent it from being turned into paper again. For this reason, the joint research and development project of OOK-Press Kft. and Pannon University has been looking for a way to use the above mentioned paper-dust.
It is of utmost importance for our company to protect the environment therefore we pay close attention to recycling as much of the leftover material as possible. In the life-cycle analysis of the raw materials used in the processes paper-dust could not be fitted into the recycling chain. After investigating the possible ways to use this material, we have compared them against the possible solutions, which we have also modelled before trying them in practice. By doing this, we have eliminated any unnecessary costs and avoided any predictable failures.
Research is only successful if it finds new ways - and sometimes these ways surprise even the researchers.
There are many ways to utilise paper-dust even if it cannot be reintroduced to the production of paper as a secondary raw material.
Based on the results of its -cycle analysis, we have further investigated two viable alternatives, two ways of utilisation: in one of the alternatives the dust was used in the making of the finished products of the construction industry by mixing it into the base material of bricks as a raw material. The other alternative is to view it as biomass and thus we are investigating how we could use this material as a biological ameliorator of soil.
In both cases, we are working out the ideal solution by research and measurements carried out in laboratories and factories. OOK-Press and Pannon University have first turned their attention to the utilisation of the product in bricks. We tested how much the thermal insulating function of bricks can be improved by mixing the paper-dust into the material of the bricks.
The other alternative could be using this material as biomass so in the remaining part of the research we also worked our way along this route. Taking into consideration its biological characteristics, the material proved to be suitable to shift the nitrogen-phosphorus-carbon balance of the soil in an advantageous way. This greatly promotes the formation of humus and enables the direct use of sewage sludge for agricultural purposes. If paper-dust proves to be beneficial in improving soil and it affects the quality of compost made from it in a positive way, this way of utilising the material might become accepted world wide.
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