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A Green Solution For a Black and White World

Posted on Feb 10, 2010

Battelle

ALPHARETTA, GA., 10 February, 2010 – The question isn’t “Why?” It’s “Why not?”

Advanced Image Resources Inc. (AIR) is giving consumers a choice to use their printers and copiers and be environmentally friendly while doing it. How? By using AIR’s new, environmentally friendly toner resin. What is it? A product that is comparably priced to today’s traditional toners, which rely on petroleum as the main ingredient. AIR’s bio-based toner resin made from soy performs as well as traditional toner, too. With the development of bio-based toner resin, people can make a choice to utilize a toner with great performance while lessening the impact on the environment.

AIR now offers the world’s only bio-based toner resin, called BioRez®, made using soybeans and other renewable resources. Toner manufacturers can purchase this resin for the development of their own bio-based toners for use by consumers in the same laser printers and copiers found in their homes and offices around the globe.

Resin, as the main ingredient in all printer toners, comprises 50 to 90 percent of toner. The use of renewable resources is significant as BioRez boasts biomaterial content of 60 percent or greater. BioRez is the first bio-based resin made using soy and manufactured for use in toners to be made commercially available anywhere in the world. Toners currently being produced using BioRez have biomaterial content of at least 35 percent. In contrast, all other commercially available toners are petroleum-based products or have insignificant amounts of biomaterial content. 

Bio-based toner is comparable in quality and cost, and it does not require any modifications to printers or toner cartridges. Bio-based toner can be used in any laser-jet printer or copier. Consumers can look for toner cartridges marked BioBlack™ or BioRez to ensure they are purchasing environmentally friendly toner.  

More than 400 million pounds of electrostatic dry toners based on petroleum-derived resins are consumed in the United States annually to make more than 3 trillion copies in copiers and printers.

Bio-based toners made using soy:

  • Increase energy independence by alleviating the need for petroleum-based toner.
  • Spur economic development by increasing demand for existing agricultural products.
  • Improve the environment by reusing existing processes and promoting the use of renewable bio-based resources.

Preliminary lifecycle analysis shows significant energy savings and reduced carbon dioxide emissions in the full-value chain from the manufacture of the bio-based resin to toner production and finally to the recovery of secondary fibers from the office waste value stream. At 25 percent market penetration, this technology could save 9.25 trillion BTUs per year and eliminate more than 360,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Overall, bio-based toner made using soy provides a cost-effective, systems-oriented, environmentally friendly solution to the growing problem of waste paper generated from copiers and printers.

This savings in carbon emissions equates to taking 100,000 cars off the road for a year.

“The introduction of BioRez culminates a multiyear effort by AIR to develop and bring to market a viable, environmentally friendly resin derived predominantly from renewable resources,” said Tom Gandolfi, co-founder and CEO of AIR.

Award-Winning Technology

AIR licensed this technology from Battelle, the world’s largest independent research and development organization, which received funding from the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) for the development of this technology. For more than a decade, using farmer-contributed checkoff dollars, OSC has worked with Battelle to develop an environmentally friendly resin utilizing soybeans. This bio-based resin is an example of OSC’s ongoing efforts to discover new uses for soybeans and soybean byproducts.

The technology utilized to produce bio-based resin made from soy has been nationally recognized with two prestigious awards:

  • OSC and Battelle won an R&D 100 award for the toner technology in 2003. The winning of an R&D 100 Award provides a mark of excellence known to industry, government and academia as proof that the product is one of the most innovative ideas of the year. This award is given annually to the top 100 innovations from around the world.
  • OSC, Battelle and AIR won a Presidential Green Chemistry Award for the soy toner technology in 2008 from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Presidential Green Chemistry Awards Program provides national recognition of outstanding chemical technologies that incorporate the principles of green chemistry into chemical design, manufacture and use, and that have been or can be utilized by industry in achieving pollution prevention goals. Only six Presidential Green Chemistry Awards are given each year.

According to Battelle, the 2007 worldwide toner market was $17 billion. Using this figure, if the entire market were to utilize soy-based toner, 302.4 million pounds of soybean oil would be needed. This equates to 26.8 million bushels of soybeans and increased potential for the commodity crop.

“When our scientists started working with the Ohio Soybean Council on developing a bio-based toner made with soy, it was a logical extension of our bio-based capabilities,” Battelle President and CEO Jeff Wadsworth said. “We are pleased to license the technology to AIR, which is actively taking the bio-based toner to market. It’s quite gratifying to know that, in the near future, people everywhere will be able to use a product that was developed here.”

Bringing Innovation to Market

A leading manufacturer of aftermarket imaging supplies has realized the promise of soy-based toner.

West Point Products has announced the release of AgriTone premium replacement toner cartridges, a series of remanufactured laser toner cartridges containing toner that is 35 percent or more bio-based through the use of the BioRez technology. In 2008 alone, the company collected more than 900,000 cartridges through its Empty Core Collection Program and recycled more than 1 million pounds of raw materials from its manufacturing process.

“We are extremely proud of this new product offering,” said Tom Day, West Point Products CEO. “At West Point Products, we have long prided ourselves for our commitment to the environment which has become a focal point of our daily operations.”

The AgriTone product will be available for the following printers:

  • HP LaserJet 4200 series
  • HP LaserJet 4300 series
  • HP LaserJet 4345mfp
  • HP LaserJet 4250/4350 series

Subsequent releases will expand the product line to include other popular small work-group printers by leading manufacturers.

“We are pleased to see this project come to fruition,” said Keith Kemp, OSC Chairman. “OSC continues to be a strong innovator and leader in funding research to develop soy bio-based products and the toner project has been by far our biggest success.”

About Battelle

As the world’s largest independent research and development organization, Battelle provides innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing needs through its four global businesses:  Laboratory Management; National Security; Health and Life Sciences; and Energy, Environment and Material Sciences. It advances scientific discovery and application by conducting $6.2 billion in global R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management and technology commercialization. 

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 22,000 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide, including seven national laboratories for which Battelle has a significant management role on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Battelle also is one of the nation’s leading charitable trusts focusing on societal and economic impact and actively supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

About Advanced Image Resources, Inc.

Advanced Image Resources, LLC (AIR) is a Georgia based corporation formed for the express purpose of developing and commercializing an alternative to the traditional petroleum-based toners used in laser printers and copiers. The company is based in Alpharetta, GA, and was founded in 2005. The founding members and key personnel of Advanced Image Resources, LLC consist of a dedicated team of individuals that was assembled specifically for the task of commercializing bio-based resin technology. Thomas Gandolfi (President and CEO) and Stuart P. Conrad (CFO) are founding members and are responsible for management of the company.

About West Point Products

West Point Products has been a leading producer of compatible imaging supplies since 1972 and is both ISO9001:2000 and STMC certified.  West Point Products produces exclusively in the United States and Canada.

Aout the Ohio Soybean Council

Headquartered in Worthington, the Ohio Soybean Council is governed by a 17-member volunteer farmer board, which directs the Soybean Promotion and Research Program. The program's primary goal is to improve soybean profitability by targeting research and development projects through the investment of farmer-contributed funds.

Media Contacts

For more information contact Katy Delaney at (614) 424-7208 or delaneyk@battelle.org, or T.R. Massey at (614) 424-5544 or masseytr@battelle.org.

 

 

Media Contacts


Katy Delaney
Director, Media Relations
Office: 1.614.424.7208
Email: delaneyk@battelle.org 


T.R. Massey

Senior Media Specialist
Office: 1.614.424.5544 
Email: masseytr@battelle.org