Nov 28 - Erasable Paper Seeks to Save Paper

E-mail and new technology allows us to share information quicker, relying less on the printed material. Xerox has now come along to make use of this changing office paper world where, according to the company, paper that comes from printers and copiers frequently end up in the recycling bin the same day. From this, Xerox has come up with a new "erasable paper" that produces printed information on paper that only last no longer than a day allowing for the paper itself to be reused multiple times. John Markoff of the New York Times reports.

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 21 â€" During the 1970s, researchers at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center explored a software technique called “garbage collection” used for recycling computer memory. The technique allowed the automatic reuse of blocks of memory that were storing unused programs and data.

Today an anthropologist at the center, Brinda Dalal, has become a self-styled “garbologist” to assist in a joint effort with chemists at the Xerox Research Center of Canada to develop an “erasable paper” system. The goal is to recycle paper documents produced by the company’s copiers â€" potentially an unlimited number of times.

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Although it's uncertain if the paper itself can be recycled, Xerox is still working towards fine tuning the technology with creating a prototype printer using a light bar with a special wavelength as the writing source, to making the paper indefinitely reusable.

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