The paper-making process begins with the debarking of the logs. The logs are then sent through a series of chippers equipped with whirling blades, which break them down into smaller and smaller pieces. The tiny fragments are then pressure cooked with chemicals in a large vat called a digester to separate the fibers. At this point, recovered fibers are often added to the pulp.
In the final stage of preparation, the wood pulp is cleaned, refined, bleached, and run through a series of beaters until it is a fine slush. At this point fillers and other additives can be mixed in. When preparation is complete, the slush is pumped onto a fast-moving wire screen where it will start to become a continuous sheet of paper.
As water is removed from the forming paper,it is pumped into purifiers where the chemicals and particles are removed before it is returned to a stream or river. The chemicals and particles can be burned to provide additional power for the paper mill.
As the pulp travels down the screen, excess water is drained away leaving a crude paper sheet called web. The web is then squeezed between rollers to remove remaining water and ensure uniform thickness and smoothness. Finally, the web is run through a series of heated rollers to remove any remaining water. The finished paper is spooled onto 'parent rolls', which can be 30 feet wide and weigh 25 tons. The parent rolls are run through a machine called a slitter which cuts them into smaller, more manageable rolls. Now the paper is ready to be shipped for use by a variety of businesses for products we all use everyday.
How Much Paper Americans Use: Americans use an average of 749 pounds of paper products per individual per year. Over all that's about 187,250,000,000 (187 billion) lbs. of paper for the United States as a whole!
What We Use Paper For:
Paper is an integrated part of everyday life. Here is a list of some other ways we use paper everyday.
Containers - boxes, sacks, drums, crates, cans, and buckets.
Printing & Publishing - books, newspapers, magazines, catalogs etc.
Electronics - plugs, speaker cones, panel boards, telephone sets, instrument cases, fiber conduits.
Mechanical - gaskets, packing, tire cord, oil filters.
Construction - pressboard, insulation, sheathing papers.
Textiles & Apparel - rayon, acetate, clothing, shoes, arch supports, blankets, bed sheets, and diapers.
Household - towels, tissues, cups, furniture (pressboard), plates, and trays.
Farming - seed starters, egg containers, poultry feeders, and produce crates.
Miscellaneous - twines, cords, binders, clock facings, oilproof aprons.
Special - absorbent waddings, surgical gowns, fluorescent papers, gas and flameproof paper, and washable paper maps. Other Useful Stuff That Comes From Paper Making:
Tall Oil - a by-product used to make soaps, paints, varnishes, printing inks, and water proofing agents.
Turpentine - a commonly used paint thinner and solvent.
Industry spending for environmental improvement now exceeds $1 billion a year. 98% of a harvested tree can be used efficiently with today's technology.
Bark, chipped wood and other waste materials provide 56% of the energy used by paper manufacturers.
80% of the more than 500 paper mills in the United States recycle some recovered paper. About 200 of them depend on it as a primary source of raw materials.
Americans now recover more than 45% of all school and office paper and more than 70% of all corrugated paperboard.
45 million tons of paper were recovered in the United States in 1998 - an average of 330 lbs. per person.
In 1998, Americans recovered 45% of all the paper they used.
Paper production accounts for 7% of the total manufacturing output for the United States.
Paper manufacturers employ 1.4 million Americans, and rank among the top ten employers in 46 states. The annual payroll for these workers is $46 billion.
The forest and paper products industry generates $200 billion in sales annually, and is a chief exporter for the United States.
Paper Trading International, Inc.
9052 Valley Crest Ln, Germantown, Tennessee 38138, United States
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