Laser ‘unprinter’ developed

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Engineers from the University of Cambridge have created a technique to remove toner from paper which involves using a laser to heat up and vaporise printed areas of paper.

The engineers have said that the process works with most paper types and toner inks and claim that ‘unprinting’ is more eco-friendly than conventional recycling processes.

The process works by firing green laser pulses that last billionths of a second at the paper, which apparently results in toner being removed with little damage to the paper itself. There are reportedly minor byproducts from the process, including nanoparticles and “mostly harmless” gases. These are captured by an extraction system.

The estimated cost for building an office-capable prototype is £19,000 (R230,000).

Source: BBC News

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