Reverse printing technology perfectly removes text and images from glossy paper

The recycling process for used paper is far from flawless: it requires a lot of energy and does not solve the problem of disposal of the resulting toxic substances.

Scientists at Rutgers University in New Jersey and their colleagues at Oregon State University have developed a new, simple method for removing text from paper, after which it can be reused up to five times.

Previous systems used a laser to remove toner from paper, which damaged the polymer coatings of the paper, making it unusable.

The new technology replaces the laser with a special xenon lamp located 38 mm from the surface of the semi-gloss paper. The lamp generates intense bursts of broad spectrum light that weaken the adhesion of the toner to the paper without affecting the surface of the paper. At the end, it remains to wipe the paper with a clean alcohol napkin, after which it takes on a flawless original look.

Red, green and blue toners have not been completely removed yet, since none of them absorb light as well as black. However, they are also removed if they are previously coated with black toner.