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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Biodegradation of News Inks

Authors
item Erhan, Sevim
item Bagby, Marvin

Submitted to: NAEP Annual Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: June 12, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Printing ink vehicles that require no petroleum components were prepared by modifying vegetable oil. Physical properties of inks formulated with these vehicles meet or exceed the industry standards for lithographic and letterpress newsprint applications. These ink vehicles, using both mono- and mixed cultures of microorganisms commonly found in soil, were subjected to biodegradation, and the results were compared with those obtained with commercial vehicles. Results show that they degrade faster and more completely than commercial hybrid (partial) soy or mineral oil based vehicles. Similar studies were conducted with commercial news inks consisting of soy or mineral oil with petroleum resins along with the four colored pigments and USDA's 100% soy oil based ink consisting of modified soybean oil and pigment. Results show that pigment slowed the degradation of ink vehicles; however, neither time nor type of pigment played a significant role. Also these inks were degraded by using "Modified Sturm Test" (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). In this method, test organisms were obtained from activated sludge, and the extent of degradation was determined by measuring carbon dioxide evolution. In all cases USDA's ink degraded faster and more completely (for all four colors) than either hybrid soy oil based or petroleum based inks.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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