When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful, a miracle


Countries print 150 billion new notes each year, at a cost of about $10 billion. Cash attracts grime and dirt, gets stuffed into underwear drawers, is daubed with pens, and exposed to harsh UV light. In other words, money goes through a lot, with the result that 150,000 tons of it has to be destroyed annually.

As a new paper explains, one of the main problems with keeping money in good condition is sebum, the substance the body produces to protect the skin. Waxy and oily, sebum builds up on the surface of the paper and then reacts with the air, eventually turning bills a nasty shade of yellow.

The paper, published in an American Chemical Society journal, discusses a new process that might keep more notes circulating longer, and therefore cut the cost of printing and distributing new bills. It involves subjecting notes to supercritical CO2.

{ Fast Company | Continue reading }

image { Intricate mechanical and chemical separation is needed to extract and recover pigment from US currency. The ink is then re-stabilized, divided into individual doses and packaged into medical vials. | Diddo, The Cure for Greed }