The elements that make up paper are cellulose from tree wood and various chemicals that give different types of paper their special properties. Hemp, bamboo, flax and cotton are also used, but 95 percent of the raw elements come from trees, according to the National Center for Families Learning.Continue Reading
The trees are ground into chips and then boiled to remove lignin, a substance that holds together the cellulose monomers responsible for the structural support of the trees. The cellulose is then made into liquid paper pulp, dried and shipped to be made into paper.
The different chemicals that are then added give the final paper its unique qualities. Sodium aluminate is used in combination with alum to control pH. Silicate of magnesia is used to give paper a greasy or soapy feel and enables paper to take a high finish. Barium sulfate, cadmium sulfide, calcium sulfite and lead chromate are all used as pigments.
Guar gum is used as a dry strength additive, sodium peroxide is used for bleaching and titanium dioxide is used to increase opacity and brightness. There are many other chemicals used in the process, but these few are examples of the wide variety available for the paper-making process.Learn more about Chemistry
Acids are widely used in the manufacture of various substances such as solvents, chemicals, foods, fertilizers, medicines and plastics. The concentration of an acid usually determines where it can be used.Full Answer >
For proper disposal of formaldehyde, a chemist or hazardous waste contractor adds chemicals, such as sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid, to the solution to bring the pH to a neutral level. Then, he discharges the neutralized solution to the sewer.Full Answer >
Pyrethrum powder is an extract of the Pyrethrum plant, containing several chemicals known as pyrethrins. These chemical compounds are neurotoxic to all insects and paralyze them quickly on contact. The compunds have been widely used as insecticides since the beginning of the 20th century.Full Answer >
The Toxicology Data Network, a division of the United States National Library of Medicine, publishes a database of potentially hazardous chemicals called the Hazardous Substances Data Bank, or HSDB. Interested individuals can search the database online by specific substance, or view an alphabetical list of chemicals.Full Answer >