Fenton Pre-treatment of a Birch Kraft Pulp for MFC preparation

Detta är en avhandling från Karlstad : Karlstads universitet

Sammanfattning: The potential to use acidic hydrogen peroxide in the presence of ferrous ions (Fenton’s reagent) as a pre-treatment when producing microfibrillar cellulose (MFC) from a fully bleached birch (Betula verucosa) kraft pulp was investigated and the properties of the produced MFC was compared to the properties of a MFC produced with enzymatic pre-treatment with a monocomponent endoglucanase (FiberCare® R). The mechanical treatment to MFC was performed in a laboratory colloid mill or in a pilot high-pressure homogeniser and the pre-treated pulps as well as the produced MFCs were chemically and morphologically characterised. Additionally, the MFCs produced in the colloid mill were evaluated as strength enhancers in test sheets representing the middle ply of paperboard.From the chemical characterisation, it was concluded that the Fenton pre-treatment caused a decrease in the degree of polymerisation (DP) and an increase in both carboxyl- and carbonyl groups. The increase in carbonyl groups could not be explained by the formation of new reducing end groups due to depolymerisation which indicates that carbonyl groups are introduced along the cellulose chain. The enzymatic pre-treatment as performed in this study caused less impact on the cellulosic material, i.e. resulted in a pulp with a higher DP and a much lower amount of carbonyl- and carboxylic groups compared with the Fenton pre-treated pulps. In the subsequent mechanical treatment in a colloid mill, the Fenton pre-treated pulps were easier to process mechanically i.e. reached a higher specific surface area and a higher surface charge at a given mechanical treatment time compared to enzymatic pre-treated pulps and pulps not subjected to any pre-treatment. These findings were confirmed when MFCs were produced by homogenisation at high pressure in multiple passes; the birch kraft pulp was either pre-treated with Fenton’s reagent or the combined mechanic and enzymatic pre-treatment methodology used at the Centre Technique du Papier (CTP, France). By size fractionation, rheological measurements and scanning electron microscopy, it was revealed that Fenton pre-treatment resulted in MFC suspension containing a significantly higher proportion of small sized material (< 0.2 mm).When the MFCs were evaluated as strength enhancers in test sheets produced from a furnish consisting of a spruce (Picea abies) chemithermomechanical pulp, MFC and a retention system containing cationic starch and an anionic silica sol, Fenton pre-treated MFCs increased the strength properties more than the enzymatic pre-treated MFCs. Addition of 5 wt% Fenton pre-treated MFC resulted in an increase in z-directional strength of about 50%, an increase in tensile stiffness index of about 25% and an increase in tensile index of 35% compared to test sheets prepared without MFC addition.

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