Dr. Collyer whose reputation amongst paper-makers is assured from his successful application of beetroot refuse in their manufacture, has re- cently alighted upon an important discovery, whereby full fifty per cent will be saved in the manufacture of paper, made either from wheat or oat straw, flax-waste, or other similar refuse material. The insuperable difficulty which has attended the use of raw fibrous substances, lies in the existence of the siliceous cortex which envelopes the fibre to get rid of this silex ; has been the object long desired and sought after; for this desideratum being accomplished, the remaining fibre of common straw is equal, for the paper makers purposes, to the best linen rags ; in fact it honestly produces a stronger paper. Separation of siliceous matter may be effected as our readers are aware, by the use of strong alkaline solutions, accompanied with great heat, but this process involves a certain waste of concentrated caustic alkali, which is a costly material.
Dr. Collyer has, however, happily discovered a simple and inexpensive; method, which entirely removes the silex, after the use of a weak alka- line solution and a process of boiling under a moderate pressure. The straw or flax refuse before being boiled is submitted to the action of a machine, especially invented for the purpose by this gentleman. This machine opens out the fibre, disintegrates the siliceous cortex, and prepares it for the production of pulp, from which can be made the best class writing and printing papers, at one-half the present cost.
The whole expense of preparing one ton of straw pulp, bleached fit for conversion into the finest writing, printing, or book paper, will not by this process exceed 121. per ton, or le. per pound ; to which add the Excise-duty of le. per pound, and we obtain the whole cost of making the substance into a paper, which is now practically worth 7d. per pound, equal to that used by the leading journals.