Category: Creativity. Last updated June 20, 2023.

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Chemistry keeps counterfeiters from duplicating paper money, helps preserve paper over time, and has some novel potential for use in the future. Examine the scientific intricacies of various types of paper as well as the unique variations of ink used.


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  • Paper Flower Blossoms from AACT
    Investigate solubility by using a combination of washable markers and permanent ink to color a paper flower.
  • The Properties of Paper: Tear Resistance from Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking
    Plan and carry out investigations to observe and record results using the strength test so they can learn how the pull on the paper can cause tearing displaying the different tear resistance of the paper.
  • The Properties of Paper: Opacity, Water-Drop, and Ink-Mark Test from Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking
    Plan and carry out investigations to observe and record results by using the opacity, water-drop, and ink-mark test so they can learn about the different paper materiality and characteristics and describe results.


  • De-Inking Paper for Recycling from Flinn Scientific
    Investigate the basic scientific principles behind the de-inking process involved in paper recycling.
  • The Chemistry of Currency from Educational Innovation Inc.
    Demonstrate the magnetic ink used in printing US currency to engage audiences of all ages with its relevance to everyday life.
  • Counterfeit Currency Detection from Black Light World
    Paper currency is not all that it first appears. Turn a black light on to find these hidden colors in the different denominations of paper money.


  • How To Make Goldenrod Paper from Chem13 News and the University of Waterloo
    The spice rack plays a role in this paper that gets you a result like the classic goldenrod.
  • Making Marbled Paper from Royal Society of Chemistry
    Take a trip to the medicine cabinet to marble paper with those beautiful swoops and swirls.
  • Making Paper from Recycled Paper from Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking
    Make paper by using recycled paper so that they will understand the western style process of hand papermaking and the importance of recycling paper.


  • Celebrating Paper from ChemMatters Magazine
    Paper is an ancient invention, but its versatility for many uses from origami to packaging is unrivaled. Naturally, the key is in its chemistry!
  • Cash Chemistry and Counterfeit from ChemMatters Magazine
    Long before paper money was even a thing, counterfeiters found innovative ways to fake currencies such as gold coins. Learn what makes paper money practically forgery-proof today.


  • The World has a Receipt Problem from ACS Ingenious
    The receipts you take home from the store – or stuff in your bag, or lose in your car -- employ a printing method that’s been around since the 1970s. Thermal printing involves heat-sensitive inks called leuco dyes that show up when they react with an acid developer embedded in the paper.

  • How is Paper Made? from MoleClues TV
    From tree to paper - how does it work? And what is really the difference between toilet paper and paper towels? Explore these questions and more related information from the forest industry.