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Making Pencil Lead from Generator Brushes

| Tuesday October 18th, 2005 | 8 Comments

pencil_lead.jpgHere’s another great example of taking one industry’s trash and turning it into a raw material for another. Tokyo Electric Power happens to have a pile of worn-out graphite “brushes” from their generators. Tombow Pencil Co makes pencils. Pencil “lead” is actually graphite, therefore a deal is made. With a few adjustments to the method that the power company crushes its brushes, decent quality pencil lead can be produces. Read more on JFS.


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  • http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/10/making_pencil_l.php Treehugger

    Making Pencil Lead from Generator Brushes

    Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) and Tombow Pencil recently announced that they have jointly developed mechanical pencil “leads” recycled from generator brushes used in TEPCO’s thermal power plants. Generator brushes are made from highly pure graphite (ove…

  • Theyjust Dontgetit

    I have to wonder why they don’t adopt proper sustainability protocol. They should process worn-out brushes back into new brushes. The pencil lead approach is really just down-cycling, it doesn’t prevent this commodity from going to landfill… only postpones it.

  • alexanderhorre

    It depends on the graphite composition. Graphite to Graphite could be considered an upcycle, or high-quality to high-quality recycle. Now I’d agree with you if this graphite when to make a basketball hoop.

  • lora

    hmm so how is lead made

  • Toby

    I am intrested in buying for export used generator set in canopy or open diesel or gas please let us know if you have any

  • Ted

    Do they take old generator brushes and recycle them into new ones?

  • Anonymous

    acimasiz op

  • Anonymous

    acimasiz op