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HP Indigo Deinkable?

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  • #16
    HP Indigo is NOT deinkable.

    Originally posted by pfmagic View Post
    HP ink is deinkable. Several recycling plants use out-dated deinking systems that worked well for conventional offset but do not work for water-based inkjet, liquid toners, or water-based flexographic inks. Several studies have been performed at recycling mills with large concentrations of Indigo-printed materials that resulted in Deinkability Scores of Good (the highest rating). I find it curious that the 'Indigo Incident' press release is still prominently displayed on Ingede's site but none of the lab tests, pilot studies or deniability scores have made it on Ingede's site.
    Sorry, I just accidentally saw this thread today. No, Indigo ElectroInk is not deinkable. Even in small amounts it is a potent source of ink specks in the deinking process for new graphic paper or even toilet paper. And the deinking systems are not outdated at all, Mr. pfmagic. On the contrary, the one system where it worked once in very small amounts, that is inefficient and economically as well as ecologically far away from being an example. There recycled pulp (not paper) of a very high brightness is produced for users wanting paper as bright as fresh fiber but labelled "100 % recycled". They could rather take fresh fiber and recycle it afterwards, but that's their decision. The plant has been bankrupt and sold more than once.

    I do not know of any deinking plant that is state of the art technology and can process Indigo prints without problems. That is because Indigo is a cohesive polyethylene plastic film, a lamination rather than a printing process. The only liquid toner that is good deinkable yet is that of Xeikon's Trillium technology. This is polyester, it's brittle and as good deinkable as dry toners have always been.

    'None of the lab tests, pilot studies' has made it to INGEDE's website because these are irrelevant or unproven marketing claims that have nothing to do with reality in a deinking plant. Some people might call that greenwashing. There have been a few trials at the French paper mill mentioned above, that, again, produces market pulp of very high brightness with some special equipment making it most inefficient due to high losses. No example for a standard deinking plant at all. And even that mill used only small amounts for a very short period of time -- and they have never offered to accept Indigo printer waste beyond that trial. And they probably learned from the trial that they better not do. Also, the recent (Dec 2013) claims about results of a pilot plant trial are unproven claims yet. HP fails to present the data, they just sent a headline around the world via their PR agency. The data underlying these claims are announced to be presented at a conference coming up half a year later, now in the middle of May. Then we will discuss the relevance of this trial which might just prove that it is difficult to simulate the behaviour of Indigo prints in the lab. Who will then report about this discussion? Will HP run an expensive PR campaign again, stating that the discussion revealed some constraints to their original claim?

    We have had the accident in the mill that you referred to, we do have more recent occurences of high dirt speck rates from a deinking plant in France and from a board mill (deinking for white top layer) in Germany. What else would you need? Find an experimental environment just far enough off reality that the results suit HP? Then this still has nothing to to with everyday life in a standard deinking plant. HP's Indigo inks have not changed, and the world begins to learn that Indigo is a wonderful technology but developed in times when sustainability of the whole paper value chain was not an issue.

    If you have any question feel free to contact me through our website, we have nothing to hide.
    Axel Fischer
    INGEDE
    INGEDE - the International Association of the Deinking Industry

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    • #17
      Originally posted by jinthebay View Post
      I run a 3500. Don't have much makeready to speak of. And by the end of the day, not a whole lot of waste. Is this really an issue? Besides, how would the end user of printed materials produced from Indigo presses even know that they were produced by Indigos and how / where would they be sending them to be De-inked?
      Hm. I know of photobook printers that have significant amounts of printer waste, with all the Indigo-specific cleaning and calibration sheets adding to the usual damaged stuff. You're right, the end users will not know. But printers at least in Europe are advised to keep Indigo separate from other printer waste. It is not accepted for deinking, just for corrugated board.
      Last edited by Deinker; 05-02-2014, 06:58 AM.

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      • #18
        Old post, I know, but I couldn't resist. -- Putting the CO2 question aside... if I convert a 60 year old tree into paper, and then burn the paper to make electricity (that I then use to make microwave popcorn on Sunday night)...it is true that the universe contains the same amount of mass/energy, but we have converted high quality into low quality. The tree is now a bunch of disappated heat. Oops. We are currently conveting much of the high quality resources into low quality ones. This is an unsustainable process.

        Originally posted by Erik Nikkanen View Post
        Maybe we should just burn all the waste paper and reclaim the energy.

        Growing a tree takes out CO2 from the air and burning it releases it. Zero sum. But energy is gained which we are losing now. Trees are a form of solar energy. The sun provides the energy for tree growth and then the energy can be harvested by burning and making steam to drive a generator.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Mark Flanders View Post
          Old post, I know, but I couldn't resist. -- Putting the CO2 question aside... if I convert a 60 year old tree into paper, and then burn the paper to make electricity (that I then use to make microwave popcorn on Sunday night)...it is true that the universe contains the same amount of mass/energy, but we have converted high quality into low quality. The tree is now a bunch of disappated heat. Oops. We are currently conveting much of the high quality resources into low quality ones. This is an unsustainable process.

          Mark how do you recycle your Indigo waste?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Green Printer View Post
            Mark how do you recycle your Indigo waste?
            Greetings,

            Great thread. Having read through the comments above, I am reluctant to jump in like a know-it-all. Having said that, I work in a factory with 3 HP indigo WEB presses and 12 HP Indigo sheet fed presses. I am a certified HP tech, but I don't work for HP. I do sit on the sustainability committee, so I would be interested in knowing the truth of the matter.
            So, the short answer is we recycle many tons of Indigo paper waste and have done so for several years. The waste is a mix of printed and unprinted, but it is mostly printed. It is not out of the question that the recycling paper company hasn't noticed the issue, or that they're sorting/mixing in some way we don't know about, but for all extents and purposes, we just put it in the bin and away it goes. They pay us for it, in fact. I believe that Indigo printed paper is probalby more troublesome than other forms of printing, but I will have to have a discussion with the paper recycling company, and have them talk to their mill about the issue. Maybe there is some quiet workaround going on, who knows.
            I am curious/skeptical about the description of Indigo ink as "cohesive polyethylene plastic film, a lamination rather than a printing process." in the post above. I wonder if the sample used wasn't actually laminated. I can imagine that would cause some problems. Indigo ink is made of very fine particles with conductivity, suspended in oil, and adhered to the sheet with heat and pressure. One of the early complaints about Indigo inks was poor adhesion...meaning it got scratched off in the mail... so the laminate description doesn't seem right.
            With respect for all, and keeping the end in mind... (a sustainable future!)

            Mark
            Last edited by Mark Flanders; 05-07-2014, 03:19 AM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Erik Nikkanen View Post
              Thanks for the link! Very interesting read.

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              • #22
                Hp Indigo Digital Press Ink becomes a micro thick polymeric film on the substrate.
                Page ten in the following document.
                http://www.tappi.org/content/events/...pers/Field.pdf

                HP says it is a polymeric film. plastic

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                • #23
                  Greetings All,

                  After some exhaustive study on the matter; my report:

                  "Executive Summary" on primary topic of De-inking: (though still basically an opinion) To deink HP Indigo output requires a further flotation and dispersing process after initial flotation and screening. Making high quality printing paper solely from Indigo printed paper expensive at this time. I suspect that much of the paper from our plant is either sorted printed/non-printed, with the printed going to cardboard or the mix of printed/non-printed is sufficently clean to pass muster when mixed with other paper waste. In consumer recycling, the indigo printed papers are mixed in with everything else and the percentage is currently low. So, it can be de-inked, but it is expensive. If the amount of Indigo printed paper increases, and/or mills develop a better method for separating the ink from the paper, that could change. However, it can be included with lower grade paper recycleables.
                  ---
                  A few details discovered: The HP document referencing "polymeric film" is a 2008 powerpoint file from a trade show that has had some (out of context?) technical language pasted in poorly, probably by a salesman on a flight to St. Louis. The best technical info I came up with was from the EU patent on the ink:
                  “Liquid toner comprises toner particles dispersed in a carrier liquid. Printing an image on a substrate using liquid toner involves extracting toner particles from the carrier liquid and depositing the extracted toner particles on the substrate in a pattern suitable to form the image. Once deposited on the substrate the particles are bonded together and to the substrate to provide the finished image.”
                  I gather that the "bonded together" part might create something like a film, and the MSDS sheet for the ink does include 1% resin, and some trade secret, though it is primarily a petroleum hydrocarbon. Along these lines, I once worked with an issue where hot laminating Indigo printing would sometimes pull the ink right off of the sheet. I've handled the stuff and it is super thin, but it's cohesion was limited to little torn patches, as opposed to a whole sheet of film. (Maybe there's something for the de-inker developers to consider if Indigo printing was separated...use heat and pressure)
                  -- I'm no chemist, but my inquiry led me to discover that plastics often contain polymers, a polymer is not necessarily a plastic. It has to do with bonded molecules. Plastics are generally moldable. But hey, maybe it is "plasticy". If the recycling tech catches up with the printing tech, which it will eventually, the end result will be good paper...and recyclable polymers! As opposed to toxic offset sludge.
                  Also of note is a fascinating thread on HP's claim that they use "Ink" not "Toner" from 2008. The de-inking topic comes up as well. Here is the link: Does HP Indigo use “toner” or “ink”? - WhatTheyThink
                  ---
                  anyway, that's more than enough from me! All the best, Mark

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                  • #24
                    There are number of printed with water based inks are not deinkable. As the deinkable require special ink receiving layer.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Mark Flanders View Post
                      So, it can be de-inked, but it is expensive. If the amount of Indigo printed paper increases, and/or mills develop a better method for separating the ink from the paper, that could change. However, it can be included with lower grade paper recycleables.
                      Hi everybody,

                      I had not seen that earlier, still a late reply: Even if it would work in an "expensive" process, it would have to be kept separate (by labelling it?) and only directed into that special process; standard mills do have a severe problem and carefully avoid it by checking the incoming waste paper. "Downgrading" for packaging (corrugated) is still possible. Again, for tht it must be kept separate from other graphic paper for recycling.

                      And that Indigo forms a film can be seen if you try to dissolve printed pages in water. The fibers go into the water, leaving large and very thin particles, and these cannot be removed sufficiently in the paper recycling process. The ruler is in centimeters:

                      2010-10-Indigo213-pulper-ed-lr.jpg2010-10-Indigo214-flot2-ed-lr.jpg

                      The press release is old, but nothing has changed since.

                      By the way, such problems also occur from UV-cured inks, basically a similar issue: large and crosslinked ink particles that cannot be remove during the deinking process (see press release).

                      What is relevant in Europe: No ecolabels for Indigo or UV prints.
                      .
                      If you need more information, you're welcome to contact me via the INGEDE website!

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