Using Waste to Build Bridges

Originally written by Toby Murphy and published by

Researchers have discovered a process to recycle toner powder into iron oxide which could be used in construction work.

Using Waste Printer Toner to Build Bridges

Waste printer toner has been used to make iron oxide which could one day be used to build bridges or metal components, Infosurhoy writer Toby Murphy reported.

An ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering research team reported of a way to recycle residual powder in printer cartridges, turning it into iron through high temperatures and industrial processes.

According to Infosurhoy, the researchers heat the toner powder to 1,550°C, changing the iron oxide within the toner into a product which is 98 per cent pure iron with the polymer resins within the powder being used as a source of carbon.

Infosurhoy reported such high temperatures could be beneficial for the industrial applications and the environment as steel and iron were usually made at similar temperatures and this high temperature prevented noxious side products from forming, providing an environmentally conscious method of recycling.

According to Infosurhoy, the European Toner and Inkjet Remanufacturers Association have ascertained almost half of the estimated 1.1 billion sold annually end up in landfill. These “empty” cartridges could have up to 8% of unused residual toner powder which could contaminate underground water sources and soil.

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