Paper from sugar cane saves trees and money

March 6, 2009

( -- A new way to make paper more easily and cheaply from bagasse, the fibrous sugar cane waste from sugar production, than from trees has been discovered by a Queensland University of Technology researcher.

QUT Sugar Research & Innovation research fellow Tom Rainey has dispelled the myth that bagasse paper production would never be economically viable in Australia.

Mr Rainey said bagasse could be used to make generic writing paper, tissues and packaging, and help lower the amount of plantation and old growth forest that was cut down for paper production.

He will discuss the innovative process at a talk on March 10 presented by the Sugar Research and Development Corporation (SRDC) in association with QUT.

"My research has overcome a major technical hurdle to optimising bagasse fibre so it can be made into pulp for the production of paper, board, structural and packaging materials," Mr Rainey said.

"This process will be more profitable because the raw sugar cane material is up to five times cheaper to buy than wood, and higher paper production rates are possible."

Mr Rainey said because the majority of generic-grade paper sold in Australia was manufactured overseas, this technology could provide a new market for sugar cane growers.

Provided by Queensland University of Technology

Explore further: Everyone agreed: cane toads would be a winner for Australia

Related Stories

Documents reveal price of Britain's slave trade

August 13, 2015

Letters discussing the value and sale of slaves in the 18th century, which provide a distressing reminder of the powerful business interests that sustained one of the darkest chapters in British history, are to be made available ...

Are microbes the answer to the energy crisis?

June 4, 2008

The answer to the looming fuel crisis in the 21st century may be found by thinking small, microscopic in fact. Microscopic organisms from bacteria and cyanobacteria, to fungi to microalgae, are biological factories that ...

Rapid intensification of global struggle for land

September 17, 2012

The earth's limited surface is expected to stretch to everything: food for soon to be nine billion people, feed for our beef cattle and fowl, fuel for our cars, forests for our paper, cotton for our clothes. What is more, ...

Recommended for you

Moonlighting molecules: Finding new uses for old enzymes

November 27, 2015

A collaboration between the University of Cambridge and MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, has led researchers to identify a potentially significant new application for a well-known ...

A new form of real gold, almost as light as air

November 25, 2015

Researchers at ETH Zurich have created a new type of foam made of real gold. It is the lightest form ever produced of the precious metal: a thousand times lighter than its conventional form and yet it is nearly impossible ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.