Ultrastructural Aspects of Pulp Fibers as Studied by Dynamic FT-IR Spectroscopy

by Åkerholm, Margaretha

Abstract (Summary)
Dynamic (or 2D) FT-IR spectroscopy in combination withpolarized IR irradiation has been used in this work to studywood polymer orientation and interactions on theultrastructural level in wood fibers in the native state aswell as the effects of different pulping processes. The woodpolymer interactions were studied under both dry and humidconditions.The matrix of lignin and hemicelluloses located between thewell-ordered cellulose fibrils in the wood cell wall of sprucewas here shown to be more highly ordered than has earlier beenrevealed. It was confirmed that glucomannan is orientedparallel to the cellulose fibrils and is highly coupled to it.The lignin was also shown to have a main orientation in thestructure although this is probably not as strong as that ofglucomannan. The orientation of the lignin may derive from thefact that the polysaccharides act as templates during thelignification of the cell wall. This organization implies thatnot only the cellulose but also the lignin and thehemicelluloses have different mechanical properties in thelongitudinal and cross-fiber directions.The ability to gain molecular information on the stresstransfer in polymers with dynamic FT-IR spectroscopy made itpossible to verify experimentally earlier molecularcalculations on the stress transfer within the cellulose chain.It was also possible to show, on the molecular level, thedominant importance of the cellulose fibrils for the stresstransfer in the longitudinal direction of pulp fibers,including lignin-rich mechanical pulp fibers. The glucomannanof softwood fibers was also shown to participate in the stresstransfer in the fiber direction indicating a close associationwith the cellulose, whereas the xylan showed no dynamicresponse. Already under dry conditions, the lignin was shown tohave a more viscoelastic response than the polysaccharidesduring the loading of pulp fibers and it was thus able to moveindependently of the cellulose.The enhanced spectral resolution obtained with dynamic FT-IRspectroscopy made it possible to study the crystalstructure/chain order of cellulose in pulp fibers. Thepossibility of following changes in the relative cellulose Iallomorph composition of pulp fibers was demonstrated for somechemical pulps.Dynamic FT-IR experiments under humid conditions and ofelevated temperatures made it possible to study the softeningof the biopolymers in their native environment. This was alsodemonstrated for some different pulps, and this may be apromising tool for obtaining viscoelastic information on themolecular level in composite systems such as wood fibers.Keywords:cellulose, cooperation, crystallinity, dynamictest, glucomannan, hardwood, holocellulose, humidity, infraredspectroscopy, kraft pulp, lignin, mechanical pulp, orientation,polarised light, softwood, strain, sulphite pulp,viscoelasticity, xylan
Bibliographical Information:


School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:cellulose; cooperation; crystallinity; dynamic test; glucomannan; hardwood; holocellulose; humidity; infrared spectroscopy; kraft pulp; lignin; mechanical pulp; orientation; polarised light; softwood; strain; sulphite pulp; viscoelasticity; xylan


Date of Publication:01/01/2003

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.