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HANDMADE PAPER FROM JUTE

India has about 450 handmade paper units scattered all over India which are mainly based on cotton rags & hosiery cuttings producing nearly 50,000 tonnes of handmade paper& board having a turnover of Rs 250 crores. Whereas, the total quantity of paper produced is quiet significant with a total production of nearly 70 lakh tonnes per annum. The per capita consumption of paper and paper board has increased from 4.5 Kg to 8.0 Kg in the recent past. This has created a big gap between the projected demand and the present production of handmade paper which can be reduced by introducing alternative ligno-cellulosic raw material like jute.


Jute is an annual plant which grows to the tune of about 1.5 million tons. Jute can be used as an alternative raw material if we can produce value added handmade paper from jute. The pulp and paper industry is under constant pressure to reduce and modify environmental emission to air and water. In order to keep up with the increasing demand for pulp and paper and to meet increasing stringent environment regulations, the industry is looking towards technological improvements in the conventional pulping methods.
A handmade paper unit producing jute based paper viz., visiting card, designer fancy paper for packaging, file cover, file bag, and other utility items having installed capacity of 150 Kg per day can be set up in a shed of 5000 sft. The unit can be profitably run as a family unit with 5-10 skilled and semiskilled labours. The plant and machinery required are – rag chopper or jute cutter, soaking vat, digester or autoclave, beater 50-80 Kg capacity, moulds, with deckle, felts, cotton cloth, boards, hydraulic press, screw press, calender, guillotine, pump, clean water ,water purifier(if required) . pulp storage vat, bleaching unit, tube well, office furniture, space for raw material, space for finished products.

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An environment friendly pulping process which gives pulp having strength as high as kraft pulp and can be bleached easily, permitting the application of chlorine free bleached paper has been developed.  Various steps involved in the process of handmade papermaking are described in brief :

QUALITY OF RAW MATERIAL- First and foremost the dirt content and undesired moisture in raw material should be assessed.
SORTING- The raw material is sorted manually to remove any other foreign materials. It is also given a  vigorous shake to remove the dust and dirt.
JUTE CUTTER/CHOPPER- The shorted material should be chopped into small and uniform sized pieces.
COLD SODA TREATMENT- Treatment with soda can also be used as a pre treatment and to prepare paper with low fold number but high yield.
DIGESTION-Handmade paper made from jute should be digested using alkali, sodium sulphite etc. at 120 0, use of an organo solvent in small amount which helps in removing lignin.
SIZING CHEMICAL- Sizing chemical includes neutral size for sizing paper at  neutral or alkaline pH, neutral or alkaline sizing are preferred keeping in mind the permanence of the paper.
DYES - Dyes play a very important role in handmade paper making sector. Direct dyes have the possibility of having azo group but reputed companies have stopped manufacturing dyes with azo group. To completely nullify the possibility of azo group, vegetable dyes and reactive dyes should be preferred in place of direct dyes.
BEATING -The raw material is mixed with water and inert chemicals and beaten in a Hollander beater. This is a U-shaped trough, with a drum, on the outer sides of which are iron blades, which cut the raw material to make the pulp. There is also a washing drum, which cleans the pulp and removes the dirty water. Consistency of beater is a very important parameter. The pulp should be beaten at maximum possible consistency and there should be uniformity in consistency and beating time in each batch. This will ensure uniformity in freeness level resulting in uniformity in strength properties of paper of each ream.  The quality of raw material, water and beating time should be kept constant in each and every batch.
SHEET FORMATION- DIPPING METHOD- The pulp is diluted with water and put into a masonry trough or vat. The lifting mould (mesh on a wooden frame) is then dipped into the trough, shaken evenly and lifted out with the pulp on it. The consistency of the pulp in the tank should be kept constant.
COUCHING- After the sheet formation is completed, the wet paper is transferred onto a cloth/felt sheet and a stack of interleaved sheets is built up. Since this is done manually, in this case care is taken to avoid air bubble to be entrapped during couching.
PRESSING- A hydraulic press is used to remove the excess water from the sheet s. Pressing reduces the bulkiness of the paper and i.e. the sheets become more compact. This improves the physical properties of the paper and facilitates drying. There are different types of presses, which include manually operated screw press, automatic hydraulic press. It is preferable to press a constant width of piles of sheets at constant load or pressure for a constant time. DRYING-After pressing, between 50 and 65% moisture remains in the sheets. The sheets are dried by hanging them in open areas of sunlight to remove the remaining moisture. Solar driers can speed up this process and reduce the amount of space needed. Colored paper should be dried in the shade to avoid the bleaching effect of the sun. Sheets should be properly dried, as the moisture content of final paper is very important. Moisture in paper may lead to creasing effect during calendaring.
CALENDERING- The sheets are placed between metallic plates and passed through spring-loaded press to give the gloss. The calendaring load applied is different for various grades of paper. Some grades of paper such, as moonrock paper requires no load while papers such as insulation paper requires high load.
CUTTING- The sheets are neatly cut to the size using a cutting machine.
SORTING-Sheets of desired size are finally sorted for any defects such as blemishes, pinholes, specks, patches, folds, cuts and torn sheets etc.
PACKING & MARKETING- The packing of paper is done in such a way that the paper is not damaged during handling and transportation as agreed between purchaser and supplier. The material used for packing should be recyclable/reusable or biodegradable. Each packing should be marked with following particulars: Description, grammage in gm/m2 of manufacture, size of paper, month and year of manufacture, lot number, mass in kg/ream of 500 sheets including wrapping paper.

Machineries:
  • Beater M/c 24”x30”, complete with cement trough construction and 20 HP Motor for 50 kg pulp
  • Calender M/c 12”x36” with 10 HP motor
  • Hydraulic press 35”x 45”, 7.5 H P
  • Cutting m/c 36 “ blade with 3 HP motor
  • Rag chopper complete with 5 HP motor

Area of shed  with Floor Area 3500 S ft
Soft water supply , electricity etc.
Cost of the project 25-30 Lakhs

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