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Re: Sugar Cane paper- is it acidic?



> Colette,
>
>         The paper that Ediciones Vigia uses in their books is mostly
> supplied by the government.  They receive it in huge rolls that they
> then cut up to the required size. It was described to me as being made up of
> industrial waste.  Recycled.  It contains a good deal of sugar cane fiber
> that is the waste by-product which remains after making rum, etc.  It
> reminds me most of the paper used in making paper grocery bags only with
> more chunky bits.  Smooth enough to mimeograph on though.  It does come
> in a variety of colors and varying degrees of refinement but most is a
> reddish brown.  Although I haven't tested it, it is almost certainly
> very acidic.
>
> Bob

When I was in Egypt, there was a type of paper available that was very
thin, like "onion skin", and was made from sugarcane and other waste
products.  The funny thing is that it was actually a little bit alkaline
(abbey pen test), and I don't think it was from additional buffers, fillers
or coatings, as the paper was so thin.  It could be typed on.  I have a few
books from India that if you judged from the color, a dingy brownish
yellow, and the newsprint feel, it would lead you to think they would be
acidic.  In fact they also test neutral- around 7.5 (ph meter test)

The reason?  Most papers in these countries aren't produced with bleaches
and alum rosin sizing and other such materials which we are familiar
with.  These treatments make the cost of the paper expensive, not only by
the cost of the materials, but added time involved as well.  Many "waste
products"  like sugar cane have been mashed, boiled,  extracted, fermented,
all of which could help to remove acids.  Perhaps there is some lignin in it.
The recent paper given at AIC on lignin by a gentleman from CCI (I'm
embarassed I don't remember his name)  made out that a lot of the dangers
of lignin have been overstated, and that if anything there is a gradual loss
of brightness with age.

Perhaps this could explain why a paper could be "brownish" and still be
alkaline or neutral PH.

Does brown mean bad?  Perhaps all is not as it seems....

Perhaps we could say the same thing about "craft paper" here in the US?

Some binders swear by craft paper for all sorts of uses- hollows, box
lining, spring back bindings, etc. etc.

Yes, the fibers aren't alpha cellulose, and lignin free... but is that all bad?

I would love to hear others share their thoughts on this.

Jake Benson


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