Science-- there's something for everyone

Sunday, December 25, 2011

What to do with your discarded wrapping paper?


Turn it into biofuel!  At least, that’s what Richard Murphy and his colleagues from Imperial College London would like us all to do.  They studied the feasibility of converting many kinds of waste paper into ethanol and found that almost any kind of paper can be used.


The fermentation process could even cope with festive paper and card which has been 'contaminated' with the likes of glitter and sellotape [adhesive tape like Scotch brand for us Yanks].

The fuel derived from the Christmas cards and wrapping paper from within the United Kingdom alone would be more than enough to send a fleet of 250 double-decker buses on a trip around the circumference of the Earth. If all countries adopted this method to deal with paper waste, it could be an important step in replacing fossil fuels.