Q.1010: What are main ingredients of paper?

Ans. Main ingredient of all paper is plant material. Loading or filling material such as clay, CaCO3, Talc, TiO2 etc. are used for higher brightness and better printability. Rosin, alum or combination of other chemicals is used to make paper water resistant.

Some special purpose paper such as coffee filter paper contain wet strength polymer so to withstand hot water soaking.

Colored paper may contain dye or pigment.

Related Question: What is the chemical composition of paper?


  1. A typical corrugated box paper contains Cellulose, Hemi-cellulose and Lignin. To know what are Cellulose, Hemi-cellulose and Lignin, please visit Wood Chemical Composition
  2. A typical copying paper contains Cellulose, Hemi-cellulose and China Clay and/or Calcium Carbonate.
  3. A typical newsprint contains Cellulose, Hemi-cellulose and modified Lignin.

Related Question: What is the chemical formula of paper?

Ans: Paper is a heterogeneous mixture of plant material such as cellulose, hemi-cellulose, lignin etc. and filling material such as china clay, calcium carbonate etc., chemical additives such as rosin, alum, starch etc. depending on the grade of the paper. Some paper such as currency paper is almost 100% cellulose. On the other hand a copy paper made from deinked pulp may contain more than 10 organic and inorganic compounds.  For a detailed list chemical used in papermaking, please go to Paper Chemical

A typical European paper has following composition:

Raw Material Apprx. Weight %
Fiber Material Recovered Fiber 40
Chemical Pulp 40
Mechanical Pulp 10
Minerals Coating Pigments 4
Fillers 3
Chemical Additives All Kinds 3

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