Characterization of cellulose pulps and the influence of their properties on the process and production of viscose and cellulose ethers
Sammanfattning: Today’s market offers an ever-increasing range of cellulose pulps (derivative pulps) made fromvarious wood types through different delignification processes. Each pulp segment has its uniquecharacteristics, which makes it difficult for the producer of cellulose derivatives to choose the mostsuitable pulp for optimum processability and product quality. The objective of this study was toimprove knowledge of cellulose pulps and to describe how different pulp properties affectprocessability and quality in the production of viscose dope and cellulose ethers.Ten pulp samples were investigated, originating from both sulfite and sulfate processes, with highand low viscosities and with softwood and hardwood as raw material. The pulps were analyzed fortheir properties and then processed to viscose dope and a cellulose ether in two separate pilotfacilities. The intermediates in the viscose process as well as the quality of the viscose dope andcellulose ether were analyzed and the results correlated to pulp properties.Multivariate regression methods were applied to investigate the dominating physical and chemicalproperties of each pulp and pulp segment, and to study the use of spectroscopic analyses inpredicting pulp origin, concentration and composition of hemicelluloses as well as the content ofreducing end groups in cellulose. For the production of viscose dope, the models presented showedthe most important pulp properties for good cellulose reactivity and viscose filterability. In addition,the properties affecting gel formation, flocculation, degree of substitution and clarity in theproduction of cellulose ether were highlighted. The study also emphasized the need to supplementthe use of conventional analyses on pulps and viscose intermediates with other analytical methods,such as molecular weight distribution and carbohydrate analysis, to better predict the quality ofboth viscose dope and viscose fiber.The results of the present study could be useful to predict the origin and properties of new pulps, toreplace or supplement otherwise expensive pulp analyses, and to assess the impact of pulpproperties on the production of cellulose derivatives without extensive pilot-scale trials.
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