Posted November 03, 2018 17:01:57 It is always worth considering what is good for the planet, as well as for our pocketbooks.
While the debate over what is the best way to do that is largely moot these days, a new study suggests that it might be important to consider which is best for the economy and the environment.
It is the first study to assess the environmental and economic benefits of different types of paper.
Key points: A study suggests the most cost-effective paper is the cheap and abundant one, while the most environmentally friendly is the more durable, low-carbon paper Researchers used a model to compare the environmental benefits of various types of high-tech paper The researchers say this suggests that if we can get rid of paper from the world’s supply chains, we can reduce carbon emissions by half The paper’s authors suggest this could make paper one of the most important sources of renewable energy in the world.
A paper produced in the Netherlands and published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology has found that high-speed, low cost high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is more than 50 per cent cheaper than traditional paper.
While it is the cheapest form of paper, the researchers say that high density polyethylate (HPD) is better suited to industrial applications where more frequent and longer-lasting use of paper is necessary.
This would lead to reduced emissions from energy use, the paper’s co-author, Professor Thomas Vollmar from the University of Groningen, told ABC News.
HPD is made of polyethylenimine (PE) which is a stronger chemical than polystyrene, and is used to make the durable, high-carbon composite materials used in the production of most of the world-class products on offer today.
It also helps to prevent oxidation that occurs in a wide range of materials and can lead to the formation of carbon monoxide, which can cause fires and other damage to buildings and other objects.
“Achieving a global average of 30 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from paper production is not trivial, but achieving this goal can be achieved in a very simple way,” said Professor Vollmars co-researcher Dr Anastasios Lappas.
“By reducing the use of high quality polyethylenes, we could reduce the overall environmental impact of paper production by about 50 per year.”
The study involved analysing data from several different studies on the environmental impacts of paper making, and comparing them to the potential benefits.
“What we found was that there are many benefits of using low-cost high-density polyethyles, such as reducing the environmental impact,” Professor Volls said.
“The most cost effective paper is HPD, but we could also reduce the environmental footprint by using HPD.”
The paper used a modelling approach that looked at how much energy is needed to produce a given number of HPD sheets, and how much paper production would be needed to achieve this.
The results showed that the most energy intensive method for producing HPDs is the cheaper and easier method of using PE, with the highest environmental impact per sheet.
The paper also found that the higher the energy costs per sheet, the less energy is required to produce one sheet.
Professors Vollmers and Lappases calculations show that the energy cost per sheet of H PDs was roughly 30 per year.
“There is a lot of confusion out there, particularly when it comes to the question of carbon emissions, because a lot has been made out of the debate about the role of carbon dioxide in CO 2 emissions,” Professor LappAS said.
Prof Lappasa, who is the senior author of the paper, says the study was a significant step forward for research into how HPD might be more environmentally friendly.
“This paper has provided a solid foundation for future research into the energy efficiency of HPEs and other high-cost materials,” he said.
The researchers did not look at the effect of different production techniques, which could be different depending on the paper.
But Professor Vollenmars suggested that the researchers could look at how the material’s manufacturing process was affected by the various methods used to produce it.
“We have to take into account different processes in different industries, and we can find some benefits for paper manufacturing that might not be seen in paper manufacturing for other materials,” Professor Rijo Nijenhuis, a professor at the Technical University of Utrecht, told The Conversation.
“In some cases, we might find benefits of higher production efficiency with a high-technology process, whereas in other cases, it might not provide any benefits.”
The research has been supported by the Dutch research institute of science and technology.
The research was published in Environmental Science and Technology.