ECF is the acronym of Elemental Chlorine Free, which is a technique that uses a chlorine derivative such as chlorine dioxide (ClO2), but without elemental chlorine (Cl).
What is chlorine?
Chlorine is a natural chemical element. It is represented by the symbol “Cl” on the periodic table of the elements. Chlorine is naturally extremely reactive, so it is almost never found uncombined in nature. When manufactured from “salts of the earth”, such as sodium chloride (NaCl), chlorine is produced as “Cl2”, meaning it is a molecule composed of two atoms of chlorine. Cl2, sometimes referred to as “elemental chlorine”, is a yellow-green gas at normal temperatures and pressures; it can be liquefied and compressed at low temperatures for transportation and storage.
Chlorine is used to give paper its white appearance and to remove "lignin," an element of wood fiber that yellows paper when exposed to sunlight (as occurs with newsprint). Wood-based paper is brown in its natural state, as evidenced by brown paper bags and most cardboard boxes, which are made from unbleached paper.
What are the harmful effects of chlorine?
Direct contact with chlorine can negatively impact the body. Chlorine gas coming into contact with moist tissues such as the eyes, throat and lungs produces acid resulting in lasting damage. Symptoms include blurred vision, burning or blisters on the skin, and coughing. Chlorine fumes can cause migraines, muscle weakness, abdominal discomfort, esophageal perforation, nausea and nervous system damage. When chlorine is released into water during the bleaching process, it mixes with other minerals and elements. This process creates additional toxins, including dioxins, furans and PCDDs. According to Greenpeace, dioxin can cause cancer, endocrine disorders and other health risks.
Did you know ECF?
ECF is the acronym of Elemental Chlorine Free, which is a technique that uses a chlorine derivative such as chlorine dioxide (ClO2), but without elemental chlorine (Cl). This process does not include chlorine gas in bleaching process which prevents formation of dioxins and dioxin like compounds and carcinogens.
What is the ECF Process?
The focus on reduction in adsorbable organic halides (AOX) in bleach effluents has promoted ECF bleaching process. AOX is a measure of the organic halogen load at a sampling site such as soil from a landfill, water, or sewage waste. The procedure measures chlorine, bromine, and iodine as equivalent halogens. The index of AOX in low level is good for environment. ECF bleaching is a chlorine-free process in that no elemental (molecular) chlorine is used in the bleaching sequences. Although the term ECF does not specify it, typically chlorine dioxide is the principal bleaching agent for that process.
The worldwide growth in ECF is increasing. ECF process is expected to yield less pulp per ton of wood fibers than conventionally bleached pulp because the use of increased number of bleach/wash stages result in greater fiber loss.
What is the benefit of ECF?
Field studies, research and chemical analysis over the last 2 decades, have shown that treated wastewater from well-managed pulp and paper mills using ECF bleaching is virtually free of dioxin and persistent bio-accumulative toxic substances. The remaining chlorine containing organic substances resulting from ECF bleaching have a composition similar to those found in nature, degrade naturally, and do not persist in the environment. They present a negligible environmental risk to aquatic ecosystems. This research has been confirmed in ecosystem simulations comparing wastewater from ECF bleaching with other non-chlorine bleaching concepts. These investigations have reached a common conclusion.
The wood pulp in absorbent core of our ECO BOOM bamboo baby diaper is processed by ECF, therefore, there is free of dioxin and persistent bio-accumulative toxic substances in the wastewater during the bleaching process. When the wastewater flow into the ocean, it cannot cause damage to the ocean and creatures in the ocean. It is eco-friendly to the planet. We are making efforts for a greener and better earth.
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