At the end of this module, you will be able to:
- Describe virgin, recycled, and non-wood fibers
- Describe the difference between hardwood and softwood fibers
- Describe how non-wood plant fibers and synthetic fibers are used in paper and board products
- List and describe the three main sources of recycled fiber
- Identify the recycled products that can be made from the five main waste paper grades
- Describe the types of contaminants found in waste paper
- Describe the main differences between recycled wood fibers and virgin wood fibers
The following key questions are answered in this module:
What are the three primary classifications of recycled fiber?
Recycled fiber can come from internal mill broke, from post-mill industrial sources, such as box plant trimmings, or from post-consumer sources such as offices and supermarkets.
How much paper is produced from non-wood sources?
Approximately 10% of the paper in the world is produced from fibers that did not originally come from trees.
What positive characteristic do the non-wood fibers of cotton, hemp and linen share?
Cotton, hemp and linen all have very long fiber lengths which add strength to paper.
What is the biggest challenge to processing post-consumer secondary, or recycled fibers?
Post-consumer waste has more contamination than any other source of secondary fiber.
What happens to cellulose fibers as they are repeatedly recycled?
As cellulose fibers are dried to make paper and then reprocessed multiple times, the fibers lose the ability to absorb water and become increasingly stiff. Recycling also tends to break and shorten the fibers, which reduces strength.
Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:
Fiber is the main ingredient and primary expense in the manufacture of paper and board products. Cellulose fiber from wood is the predominant fiber type used because it is widely available and has the ability to form interfiber bonds.
In order to produce paper or board, the wood fibers must be separated from one another. This can be done by mechanical or chemical means or by a combination. This process is referred to as pulping. And the mass of fibers produced is called pulp.
Wood pulp can be made from soft woods and hard woods which produce fibers with different characteristics. Hardwood fibers tend to be shorter and stiffer while softwood fibers tend to be longer and more flexible, though there is some overlap.
Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic: