Paper production waste becomes bio-foam

In paper production, quite a large amount of the finer fibers and water form a by-product that has been wasted in millions of tons annually. Until now: Ph.D. student Shaul Lapidot (photo) and his laboratory colleagues at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment of the Hebrew University in Rehovot found a way to use the waste finer fibers for a composite foam.

The finer fibers are used as a feed-stock for nano-crystalline cellulose (NCC), that can be formed using relatively low energy and chemical input. They also developed a technique to process the NCC into bio-foam. The foam can be strenghtened with a hemicellulose-based resin from crop waste. The composite foam could be an interesting alternative for synthetic foam.

Read more at Gizmag Emerging Technology Magazine.