TIRED of waste paper baskets full of photocopied waste? Now, you can reuse those sheets of paper, thanks to a machine that erases clean photocopied documents. But Ricoh Co of Japan, which has developed the erasing technique, say their copy eraser is still at the prototype stage.
To reverse the process used in a photocopier, first a chemical solution is applied to the printed page to loosening the toner -- a gritty chemical that is spread into print by a roller. Then, a heated roller is used to peel off the toner, leaving the page clean.
The prototype, however, can erase only three pages a minute and will be effective only about 10 times on the same sheet because the chemicals used damage the paper slightly each time.
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