Take note! The chemistry of paper is in the spotlight for 2019’s Chemists Celebrate Earth Week. Look here for links to learn more about all sorts of paper—how to keep counterfeiters from duplicating paper money, what it takes to bring paper back to life again or to preserve it in the first place, and the latest research in what paper can do for us.
- The Chemistry of Currency
This demo costs about a dollar to do—literally. What makes the inks in money special?
- Counterfeit Currency Detection
Paper currency is not all that it first appears. Turn a black light on to find this hidden feature.
- De-Inking Paper for Recycling
Bubble that gray away using the power of chemistry surfactants.
- Boil Water in a Paper Bag
Can a paper bag take the heat? Check out this method of boiling water.
- Recycled Paper
Old paper becomes new again in this activity. Pep it up with glitter, dried flowers—it’s up to you.
- How To Make Goldenrod Paper
The spice rack plays a role in this paper that gets you a result like the classic goldenrod.
- The Chemistry of Poinsettia Plants
Change up the pH of this paper and see what color you get.
- Saving the National Treasures
What does it take to preserve paper from the sun? Predict, then try it out.
- Making Marbled Paper
Take a trip to the medicine cabinet to marble paper with those beautiful swoops and swirls
- Science, History, Art and Technology of Papermaking
Take a closer look at paper with these hands-on lessons from a papermaking museum.
- Make Seed Paper
Make it, plant it, then wait to enjoy the colorful results.
- pH Paper Painting
These paints look clear and colorless. Where does the color come from?
- Paper Strength
Which paper can stand up to the pressure the best before it tears?
- Savannah Pulp and Paper Laboratory
Pine trees used to get the cold shoulder for paper. This chemistry pioneer changed all that.
- Under Microscope — Dollar Bill
Get up close and personal with this paper to see details that help keep counterfeiters at bay.
- The Chemistry of Paper and Polymer Banknotes
Paper or plastic? Which type of currency comes out on top?
- Saving the National Treasures: Fading Away
Light: friend or enemy for paper? Or both?
- Care, Handling, and Storage of Works on Paper
The Library of Congress is a paper expert. What tips do they have for your collections?
- The Aroma of Books
Old book or new book? The nose knows. Learn where each gets its aroma.
- Rewritable Paper
This high-tech paper won’t end up in the recycling bin. Just wipe it clean with a temperature change.
- Manure for Making Paper Sustainably
Goats, cows, and elephants become pooping partners in papermaking.
- Forestry Job Profile
Working with forests doesn’t have to be just a biology focus. It takes chemistry too.
- Paper Is Power
This booklet gives you the rundown on paper—science plus sustainability.
- Paper Battery Powered by Bacteria
They’re not in stores (yet), but these paper-based batteries get their power from an unusual source.
- Conductive Paper
Roll-up computer screens could be in your future, with paper-based technology like this.
- The Art of Paper Folding Is Inspiring Science
Origami = science inspiration for these problem solvers.