documents by people in the Mediterranean area for over 3,000 years. True paper is prepared from pulp, a watery suspension of plant cells. The first true paper was developed in China in the 2nd century. The inner bark of mulberry trees was the first plant used to prepare the pulp, and over the centuries, other types of plant material were used as a source of pulp including straw, leaves, stems, and even old cotton or linen rags.The cells in the pulp are matted into a thin layer and then compressed; however, the cells must be long enough to form a mat when the water is drained off. Typically these arc tracheids, vessels, and fibers, but in papermak-ing terms, these are all called fibers. The use of wood pulp was introduced in 1840. and today most paper is prepared from wood pulp. Each year approximately one billion trees are cut down to satisfy our demand for paper.Today there is active research for alternate sources of pulp. One of the activities in this lab manual is preparation of paper from pulp produced using a variety of plant materials.
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