Today banana stem is used as a source of raw material for preparation of a paper pulp. This pulp is used to prepare different types of paper such as tissue, bloating, tracing and writing printing paper.
- After harvesting, the farmer cuts the banana trees and throws away enormous amount of these stems into the fields because after harvesting the fruit, there is no significant use of banana trees.
- Constructing a tissue paper through the banana stem will be good for farmers because after harvesting the fruit there is no use of this but using the banana stem for the production of tissue paper will help the farmers get some money and will increase their interest in culminating banana crops.
- Several industries manufacture the tissue paper using bamboo, hardwood, softwood and jute etc. as the raw material, because it contains very good percentage of cellulose.
- On this basis, banana stem acts as a very suitable alternative raw material, containing very good percentage of cellulose.Banana trees separate into mainly three parts viz. leaves, stem and roots but the leaves and roots are cut out as it has no use.
- Cellulose is the main Raw Material for tissue paper and the stem . part of banana trees contain the highest percentage of cellulose.
HANDMADE PREPARATION OF PULP AND PAPER
1) Banana bark fibers cut into pieces of 1-2 inches.
2) The pieces cooked for around 2 hours.
3) Wash the cooked fiber with water.
4) Convert into a pulp with a help mixer or mechanized beater.
5) The pulp is mix with some water in a small tank or bucket.
6) Make a mold of a wooden frame covered with nylon cloth. for more production, you will use an industrial automated process.
7) A sheet of pulp is formed over a mold by pouring it into a small tank or bucket containing pulp.
8) Keep it in the sun to dry.
9) A pile of dry banana paper sheets.
10) The dried sheets are rolled between two rollers for smoothness and then cut into a required.
PROCESS OF MAKING PULP AND PAPER
- Banana stem is cut into small pieces (approximately 4-5 cm) that is called chopping of the banana stem.
- After that, small pieces of banana stem drying in the sun up to 90% drying of the banana stem.
- This process removes the lignin and hemicelluloses after cutting of banana stem as a small pieces which digesting the banana stem chips . with high pressure steam and successive use of sodium hydroxide, sodium sulphide and sodium hypochlorite.
- This process of chemical pulping is used to separate the lignin percentages of lignocelluloses from the cellulose and improve the brightness.
- The lignin percentage in the pulp is determined with the help of kappa number. The effective viscosity, rheology and concentration of the pulp also determines with the help of rotational viscometer, Rheometer and Consistency tester.tness of the pulp.
- The pulp behaves like time independent non-Newtonian pseudo-plastic flow behavior.
- The pulp is used to prepare the several types of paper. But here we used for preparation of tissue, bloating and tracing paper.
- Calcium carbonate is used as a sizing material We have to observe several properties of the paper pulp and paper such as strength (tear factor, burst factor, tensile strength), ⁰SR(freeness), smoothness, formation, brightness and air permeability of the paper.
- Banana fibers have great potentialities for papermaking because of their high alpha-cellulose and lignin content.
- These fibers have excellent tensile strength, they are strong fibers.
- They have low elongation and lightweight.
- They possess strong moisture absorption quality. It absorbs as well as releases moisture very fast.
- They are biodegradable and have no negative effect on the environment hence categorized eco-friendly fiber.
- Banana fibers also possess fire resistance properties.
- Banana fiber has a great texture for paper making special demand for handmade paper.
- It is used for rope, mats, and other composite materials.
- Banana fiber has recognized for apparel made by joining filaments together by weavers knot. However, spun banana yarns are still in the research phase.
PROPERTIES OF BANANA FIBER
- Polypropylene reinforced with banana, fiber is used by automobile companies for making underfloor protection panels in luxurious cars like Mercedes.
- The composite material of the banana fiber used in building boards and fire resistance boards.
- Banana fiber is suitable for use as a growing medium in hydroponics. Also, cooling pads, roofing sheets, and bricks are made with Banana fiber.
- The banana fiber extraction by-products such as sap water and pith are also used in farming. Sap water is used as fertilizer while pith is used for vermicompost which helps to increase the beneficial microorganisms in the soil.
- Pots and pellets are also made with pith and used as growth base material for plants.
- Most of the recycled Paper is using tree-fibers or recycled fibers. Trees are still cut to make the most recycled paper. Banana fiber paper is the only way to stop tree cutting and most appropriately utilizing sustainable resources.
USES OF BANANA PAPER
- Banana Paper is used for disposable dishes, paper cups, disposable glass and even it is best to carry bag making.
- The banana paper is used for currency notes in Germany and a trial run in India also.
- During the research, it was found that banana paper made out of banana bark has a shelf life of over 100 years as it is the strongest of the long fibers ever found amidst natural fibers.
- It can be folded for as many as 3,000 times.
- Also, banana paper is used for filter paper, pen stands, photo frames, lampshades, and many more.
- Plastic is often used as wrapping material but is environmentally harmful. The banana paper can effectively replace plastic.
- I made a banana paper from the banana bark at my home, with very less equipment. the banana paper made by me is of good quality and will be of better quality if made by the industrial process.
- Banana stem is a cheapest and easily available raw material as a source of making paper pulp for the production of various types of paper.
- The process of making pulp is economically violable.
- The making of paper is handmade. Sun ray is used for drying operation of paper mat.
- So energy is consumed from nature and according to economic standpoint it is profitable.
- Strength and quality (brightness, formation, softness, smoothness) of the Paper produced in this process is marketable.
- Process cost is very low.
Mr.BALAJI SUBRAMANIYAM, Student & Placement coordinator at Seshasayee Institute Of Technology (SIT), Trichy, India.