Printing Inks And Photogaphic Film Use Fossil Fuel Compounds

As was the case with lubricants, early printing inks were made from animal and plant products. Today, the printing industry relies heavily on hydrocarbon materials for inks and dyes, and for chemicals used to treat paper to improve its properties. The multicolored inks used in production of beautiful modern printed materials are produced from hydrocarbon dyes. The glue used to bind a magazine is derived from the same source. The synthetic products made from hydrocarbons are superior in almost every way to the materials made from animal and plant products.

Photographic film was once made from nitrocellulose, a plastic made from wood or cotton, without the use of hydrocarbons. Nitrocellulose film is strong and dimensionally stable. It made an excellent substrate for the photographic emulsion, but it is extremely flammable. Nitrocellulose in a slightly different form is used to make smokeless gun and rocket propellant. A replacement polyester material with the same dimensional stability has been produced from hydrocarbons. The polyester film has little tendency to burn. This material has replaced the wood or cotton based nitrocellulose in the manufacture of film. As with printing dyes the highly specialized dyes used in color film and prints are synthesized largely from hydrocarbons.

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