RICOH's NEW BIOMASS TONER ( organic based ink)
RICOH's NEW BIOMASS TONER ( organic based ink)
2009-12-07 at 10:38:20 am #23153
RICOH’s NEW BIOMASS
are organic resources that are biologically reproducible, excluding
Ricoh has developed a technology to use biomass as a raw
material for resin, the primary element of toner. This technology will
lessen the environmental impacts of toner use—it will suppress the
depletion of petroleum and reduce CO2 emissions through carbon-neutral
Biomass used as primary element of toner
copy paper is recycled, the paper goes through a de-inking process,
which separates the printed toner from the paper. The separated toner is
then merely disposed of—it is either burnt or buried in landfills.
Today’s technologies are incapable of recycling the toner printed on
paper.Every year, more than 200,000 tons of toner is produced worldwide.
About 80% of that amount is resin. To lessen the environmental impacts
of toner, Ricoh has been developing biomass toner (*1), for which we
adopted plan-based resin.
The biomass toner requires less
petroleum than conventional toner, and contributes to the prevention of
petroleum depletion. Being carbon-neutral, the biomass toner works to
reduce the net amount of CO2 emitted from the combustion of used
toner.In November 2009, Ricoh released the world’s first digital
multi-function copier featuring biomass toner, the “for E toner.” (This
product is sold only in Japan.)
Low-temperature fixing and heat resistance—two contradictory
Toner must meet a variety of characteristic
requirements. To reduce the power consumption of a copier, the power
required for thermal fixing must be reduced. This, in turn, requires the
toner to be molten at a low temperature. However, toner with a low
melting point has its own problems—it tends to coagulate when stored
under a high temperature, for instance. In this way, low-temperature
fixing and heat resistance hinder each other. This dilemma can be solved
depending on the characteristics of binder resin.
resins have been widely used for molding, but their characteristics are
far from those required for toner resins. Ricoh has thus developed a new
plant-based resin for use as toner binders. It is already in use as
part of the binder for our biomass-based “for E toner.”
biomass content of the “for E toner” is 25% (*2). While meeting the
requirements of both low-temperature fixing and heat resistance, the
“for E toner” has the same high performance as our petroleum-based
toner. With the excellent chargeability and fluidity, the “for E toner”
has even attained a higher image quality than conventional toner.
steadily establish technologies and know-how
Ricoh has been
examining many possibilities to reduce the environmental impact of
toner, and considers the use of biomass effective at this point. It
would be too late if we started developing biomass toner after the
seriousness of global warming and petroleum depletion became clear. In
the area of the conventional toner, Ricoh has many proven technologies,
acquired over a very long time. We need to acquire the same technologies
for the biomass toner, too.Ricoh has made an early start in using the
biomass toner in actual products. Ricoh will continue accumulating
technologies and know-how on the biomass toner in preparation for the
full-scale operation in the future, intending to contribute to
preserving the environment.
Ricoh Develops the World’s First Biomass
Sustainability is crucial to
society’s survival. Ricoh believes that a company must take
responsibility for all the materials used in its products. Ricoh does
this while focusing on two points: minimizing the amount of resources
extracted from the natural world, and finding alternatives to resources
at risk of depletion. Toward this end, Ricoh is actively converting the
materials it uses from non-renewable petroleum resources to reproducible
biomass as well as recycling its products. Biomass plastic has already
being used in some Ricoh products.
In a recent highlight, Ricoh
developed the world’s first(*) biomass toner as a genuine manufacturer’s
supply item, and released machines that utilize this toner in the
Japanese market. About 80% of conventional toner is petroleum-based
resin. Our new “for E toner” however, has a biomass content of 25% of
the entire mass including the resin.
The “for E toner” will help
reduce environmental impact in the following two ways:
Suppressing CO2 emissions from burning the toner printed on used paper.
toner elements separated from the paper in the paper recycling
2) Reducing the use of depletable petroleum resources
got an early start in using biomass toner in actual products. We will
continue accumulating technologies and know-how on the biomass toner,
with the goal of preserving the environment.