Researchers Invent A Paper That Can Be Reused Upto 80 Times


Reckless use of paper products is a major factor behind deforestation and industrial pollution. In a bid to cut down the adverse environmental effects; the researchers from Shandong University in China have invented a new type of “paper” that can be used for up to 80 times. The paper can be created using color-changing chemistry of nanoparticles to apply a thin coating to a variety of surfaces, including a conventional paper, making it reusable.

Pic Credits: Inhabitat

The nanoparticles are made out of titanium dioxide and are mixed with Prussian blue pigment, which goes colorless when its particles gain electrons. These pigments are exposed to UV light which results in chemical reactions. After about five days at room temperature or 10 minutes at 250°F, the paper fades back to solid blue while erasing all writing.

The Chinese researchers were accompanied by scientists from University of California, Riverside and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and they have recently published the study with the details of the incredible rewritable paper.

“The greatest significance of our work is the development of a new class of solid-state photo-reversible color-switching system to produce an ink-free light-printable rewritable paper that has the same feel and appearance as conventional paper, but can be printed and erased repeatedly without the need for additional ink,”

says Yadong Yin, who is a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Riverside.

“Our work is believed to have enormous economic and environmental merits to modern society.”

Pic Credits: Irish examiner

The explains that the chemicals used in the process of ink removal for recycling paper are leading sources of industrial pollution. The abandoned paper constitutes about 40 percent of the landfill contents.

So, the case of this reusable paper is a strong one, which is perfect for applications where printed information is only required for a short period, while the technique can be applied to a host of mediums.

A UV light printer can print on the paper using white text on a blue background or print the background itself resulting in the blue text against a white background. This method of coating can be used for over 80 times on a single sheet of paper before it has to be thrown away.

Image A depicts the paper before any printing.
Images D-F shows text 10 minutes, one day, and two days after printing using UV light printer
Pic Credit: Wang et al., American Chemical Society (2017)

The researchers hope that they can print in full color one day using a similar system.

“We believe the rewritable paper has many practical applications involving temporary information recording and reading, such as newspapers, magazines, posters, notepads, writing easels, product life indicators, oxygen sensors, and rewritable labels for various applications,” Yin said

They are currently building a laser printer compatible with the light-printable paper. Are you excited about using this state-of-the-art paper?

Comment below!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *