Publication No. 10422
Student Laboratory Kit
Materials Included In Kit
Albumin solution, 1%, 100 mL
Additional Materials Required
Organize paper-making workstations in your classroom. Place the tubs close to the sink areas, if possible. Collect a good quantity of old newspapers for use in this activity. Spread newspapers on top of all work areas to help preserve tabletops and speed up the eventual cleanup.
This activity is considered safe. Use cautions when using a blender. Follow blender directions carefully. Follow all other normal laboratory safety rules. Wash hands thoroughly before leaving the laboratory. Wear chemical splash goggles, chemical-resistant gloves and a chemical-resistant apron.
Please consult your current Flinn Scientific Catalog/Reference Manual for general guidelines and specific procedures, and review all federal, state and local regulations that may apply, before proceeding. Do not pour paper pulp down drains! Pulp will clog drains. Allow pulp vats to settle and pour the water off the top of each vat. If a fine strainer is available, the pulp can be more quickly separated from the liquid. Dispose of pulp according to Flinn Suggested Disposal Method #26a.
Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)†
Science & Engineering PracticesAsking questions and defining problems
Developing and using models
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Disciplinary Core IdeasMS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
Crosscutting ConceptsCause and effect
Scale, proportion, and quantity
Structure and function
Glass, plastics, metal cans—we live in an era of recycling. What about recycled paper? More paper is recovered in the U.S. for recycling than all other materials combined. How is recycled paper used in the paper-making process? Learn the principles of paper-making as you make your own recycled paper.
According to historical records paper-making and its use originated in China about 104 AD. Up until then, all writing was done on silk scrolls, which was an extremely expensive and time-consuming process. The empress at the time sought to have a cheaper and easier way to record the printed word. Eventually, a paper was developed using hemp, tree bark, silk and old fishing nets, all ground up into a mushy pulp. The pulp was rolled flat and dried to produce a reasonable paper. Paper-making remained a Chinese art until around 700 AD when, during a war with China, the Arab nations captured paper makers and started making paper in the Middle East. The craft was learned several hundred years later by Western Europeans during the Crusades.
Albumin solution, 1%, 5 mL
This activity is considered safe. Use caution when using a blender and follow all other normal laboratory safety rules. Wear chemical splash goggles, chemical-resistant gloves and a chemical-resistant apron.
Place a piece of plastic screening material on top of the rigid plastic grid. Place the wooden frame on top of the plastic screening. With the blended pulp evenly mixed in the tub, lift a uniform sheet of pulp out of the tub on top of the plastic screen. Do this by sliding the entire frame into the tub of pulp and then slowly and evenly raise it back out of the pulp. The goal is to collect an even layer of pulp across the entire screen surface. If not satisfied with a particular sheet, it is easy to return it to the tub and re-suspend the pulp into the tub by stirring. After lifting a sheet of wet pulp out of the tub, it is a good idea to let it drain over the tub before moving it. Tilt the screen slightly out of horizontal for draining. As the wet pulp begins to drain, tilt the frame more steeply until it is almost vertical and let as much liquid drain as possible.
Slowly lift and wiggle the wooden frame off, leaving the pulp and screen on top of the plastic grating. Place a piece of couching felt on top of the pulp. Holding the felt, flip the entire set up over onto the newspaper so that the felt is on top of the newspaper. Remove the plastic grid. Carefully peel the plastic screen from the pulp. This might take practice and patience. Once removed, place a second couching felt on top of the wet pulp.
Dry your paper overnight or speed up the process by ironing it dry. Lay the paper flat on a hard surface to dry overnight. If irons are available, the paper can be ironed flat and dried completely. Do this with the iron set on a very low setting.
Do not treat section 2 in the middle. Use one end of a cotton swab to smear a thin coating of albumin solution over section 1 of your paper. Use the other end of the cotton swab to smear a thin coating of aluminum potassium sulfate solution over the surface of section 3 of your paper. Allow the paper to dry completely. Use a pen to write your initials on each of the three sections of your paper. How does the ink react to the various sections of the paper? Which section is the best? Which is the worst?