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An "Unprinter" to Clean Laser Printed Paper

Scientists at the University of Cambridge (England) have developed a method using lasers to remove the toner from a laser printed page, which would allow the paper to be reused. With the "unprinter," a green laser is flashed at the page. This does not harm the paper, but the light is absorbed by the order usa cialis online toner, causing it to detach from the paper.

Because of the difference in technology between laser printing, where the toner sits on top of the paper and is fused to it by heat, and inkjet printing, where some of the dye is absorbed by the paper, it probably would not work (or would work less well) with inkjet printing.

As noted on Slashdot, "Recycling paper is a good step in the right direction, but it still pales in comparison to unprinting. In a worst-case scenario, The University of Cambridge unprinting method has half the carbon emissions of recycling; best-case, unprinting is almost 20 times as efficient."

image: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

via: BoingBoing

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Comments (8)Add Comment
written by Be Green, March 16, 2012
Recycling/conservation is only half the solution... if that.
What about the power used to 'unprint'
written by Felix, March 16, 2012
Surely a flash of green laser light uses a lot energy if it is capable of detaching toner from paper. This energy must come at a cost.

It would be so much easier just to burn the paper and reclaim the carbon from the combustion. The carbon could be used to create inkjet ink (black ink), tire black. It could be compressed into bricks and sold as bar-b-q fuel.
written by Jeff, March 17, 2012
This would not work very well in most instances. As paper sits out for a few days / weeks, it absorbs moisture in the air. This warps the paper slightly and causes frequent jams. If you have a stack of reused paper, it would surly jam on a regular basis.
written by Cameron Bonde, March 17, 2012
People still print stuff out on paper?
A Day Late and a Bundle Short
written by Cheryl Lucia, March 19, 2012
An “unprinter” is a good green option, but I think its time has come and gone. Books are becoming obsolete and printing is right behind it. Paper is cumbersome; it takes up “a lot” of space. Imagine the size of a 300 page document – and the cost to snail mail it. We are becoming a nation of people that values white space – in our living rooms and order levitra online canada offices, not on a paper page. We want clutter free spaces, especially paper clutter (mail, newspapers, magazines, books, etc.) With cloud storage becoming readily available and economically accessible, printers just aren’t necessary anymore. Yeah for the “unprinter”, but it’s a day late and a printer's bundle short.
We are becoming a nation of people that....
written by Sapoty Brook, March 26, 2012
Please consider the slight possibility that this article is being read by at least one person who lives in at least one country outside your great and powerful nation. smilies/wink.gif [did I guess right?]
Companies still print
written by Leslie, March 26, 2012
I agree that on an individual basis, there is less and less need for printing. But millions of reams of buy viagra on line uk paper are used by companies and universities every year. Think of a computer where each printing mistake is run through an unprinter. It might not solve the enter site discount generic cialis online worlds problems, but it is an interesting interum technology.
Excellent Idea
written by John Paul, March 10, 2013
Excellent Idea in our company we test print cartridges and get through loads of paper, this invention will save our company a fortune but better than that it will help to save our trees too.

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