Visiting scholar produces important sustainability and recycling research

Contact: Cindy Wagner

Sinan SonmezKALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's visiting scholar Dr. Sinan Sonmez has helped developed a method to achieve savings in terms of energy and cost by reducing the use of raw cellulose to recycled paper. As result of this work, Sonmez’s has had seven research papers accepted for publication.

“During his time at WMU, Dr. Sonmez has made important advancements in his research, impacting the area of recycling and sustainable materials for the paper and packaging industry,” says Lee Ryder, senior director of international student and scholar services. “His contributions to the field in such a short time are remarkable.”

“I hope to continue my efforts to leave a more livable world for tomorrow by developing biodegradable and printable products, especially for the packaging industry,” says Sonmez, a professor of applied sciences at Marmara University’s Department of Printing Technologies. He arrived at Western in fall 2021 and will be at the University through the 2022-23 academic year.

The digital print market size is expected to grow from $24.8 billion in 2021 to $34.3 billion by 2026. “Considering that the need for raw materials will increase with this growth, the search for new sustainable resources gains importance,” explains Sonmez.

Additional research while at WMU

Sonmez’s ongoing research with multidisciplinary studies is focused on paper coating and its impact on paper recycling as part of WMU’s Department of Chemical and Paper Engineering. Wanting to draw attention to the rate that an individual's paper and cardboard consumption Sonmez focuses on sustainability, recycling and deinking.

Sonmez worked on completely biodegradable packaging products with the new coating formulations under the departmental leadership of Dr. Kecheng Li, chair, and Dr. Abdus Salam, assistant professor.

About Sonmez

Sonmez earned his Ph.D. and Master of Science in printing education from the Marmara University Science and Technology Institute in Turkey where he was promoted to full professor in 2018. He has since published more than 60 articles (Google Scholar). His research at Western has been supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Institution of Turkey (2021) and the Department of Chemical and Paper Engineering (2022).

Publications referenced include the following:

  • “The recyclability and printability of electrophotographic printed paper,” Nordic Pulp & Paper Research Journal.
  • “Effects on hand-sheet paper properties of pH in deinking process,” Nordic Pulp & Paper Research Journal
  • “Effect of progressive deinking and reprinting on ink-jet printed paper,” Nordic Pulp & Paper Research Journal
  • “Recycling of printed papers and usability in flexo printing packaging,” Cellulose Chemistry and Technology

In addition to these studies, Sonmez has produced environmentally friendly inks formulations especially for the packaging industry. As result of this work, Sonmez’s research was accepted for the following publications:

  • “A survey on the effects of environmentally friendly soy protein inks on flexography print parameters in the packaging industry,” Cellulose Chemistry and Technology
  • “Usability of cellulose-based binder in water-based flexographic ink,” Colaration Technology
  • “Effects on print quality of varying acrylic binder types in water-based flexographic ink formulations,” Colaration Technology

Follow Sonmez’s extensive research activities on Google Scholar.

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