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A revolutionary new 'dry ink' for laser printers and photocopy machines

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(Nov. 30, 2011) — Imagine someone inventing a "super-toner," a revolutionary new "dry ink" for copiers and laser printers that produces higher-quality, sharper color images more economically, cutting electricity by up to 30 percent. One that also reduces emissions of carbon dioxide -- the main greenhouse gas -- in the production of tens of thousands of tons of toner produced each year. One that reduces the cost of laser printing, making it more affordable in more offices, schools and homes.

Sound like a toner that is too good to be true? Well, a team of scientists at the Xerox Corporation actually invented it. A new episode in the 2011 edition of a  video series from the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society, focuses on the research and the teamwork that led to this advance.

Titled Prized Science: How the Science Behind ACS Awards Impacts Your Life, the videos are available without charge at the Prized Science website and on DVD.

ACS encourages educators, schools, museums, science centers, news organizations and others to embed links to Prized Science on their websites. The videos discuss scientific research in non-technical language for general audiences. New episodes in the series, which focuses on ACS' 2011 award recipients, will be issued in November and December.

"Science awards shine light on individuals who have made impressive achievements in research," noted ACS President Nancy B. Jackson, Ph.D. "Often, the focus is on the recipients, with the public not fully grasping how the award-winning research improves the everyday lives of people around the world. The Prized Science videos strive to give people with no special scientific knowledge the chance to discover the chemistry behind the American Chemical Society's national awards and see how it improves and transforms our daily lives."

A Revolutionary New "Dry Ink" for Laser Printers & Photocopy Machines features the research of Patricia Burns, Ph.D., Grazyna Kmiecik-Lawrynowicz, Ph.D., Chieh-Min Cheng, Ph.D., and Tie Hwee Ng, Ph.D., winners of the 2011 ACS Award for Team Innovation sponsored by the ACS Corporation Associates. Toner is the fine powder used instead of ink in photocopy machines, laser printers and multifunction devices -- machines that print, copy and fax. The researchers at Xerox developed a new toner called "EA Toner," which stands for "emulsion aggregation." They start with a liquid material that looks like house paint. That's the "emulsion" part. Then, they throw in pigments for color, waxes and other useful things and let everything "aggregate," or stick together. Then, it all dries out, and what's left is a fine powder that they can put into a toner cartridge. That worked fine in the lab, but scaling it up to produce millions of toner cartridges to meet consumers' demands was difficult -- all of the scientists had to work together to make the new toner a commercial reality.

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The above story is reprinted from materials provided by American Chemical Society.

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