Xylan Reactions in Kraft Cooking : Process and Product Considerations
Xylan is the main hemicellulose in birch, eucalyptus, and most other hardwood species. During kraft pulping a series of chemical reactions and physical processes involving xylan takes place. The processes studied here are the following: dissolution, degradation, redeposition onto the fibres, side-group conversion, and cleavage of side groups off the xylan backbone. The side group in native xylan consists of methylglucuronic acid, which is partly converted into hexenuronic acid during kraft cooking. Hexenuronic acid affects the pulp in terms of increased brightness reversion and reduced bleachability. The kinetics of the side-group cleavage and conversion reactions were studied using various analytical tools. The study revealed that the most common methods for methylglucuronic acid quantifcation can be signifcantly improved in terms of accuracy. A modifcation and combination of two of the methods was suggested and evaluated.In order to minimise the hexenuronic acid content, a common suggestion involves the use of a high cooking temperature. The kinetic study found that the degree of substitution of pulp xylan is only slightly affected by temperature, and that the observed effects are likely to be more associated with the xylan content of the pulp than with the hexenuronic acid content of the xylan. For the dissolved xylan, however, the degree of substitution indicated a high temperature dependency for birch kraft cooking.By collecting black liquors at different stages in the cook, different molecular properties of the dissolved xylan was obtained. The liquors were charged at later parts of the cook, making the dissolved xylan to reattach to the fibres. Depending on the molecular properties of the added xylan, the tensile strength properties of the produced paper were improved. These improvements in paper properties were correlated to the molecular behaviour of the added xylan in solution.
School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:TECHNOLOGY; Chemical engineering; Chemical process and manufacturing engineering; Cellulose and paper engineering; Xylan; Kraft cooking; Paper strength; Sheet density; Methylglucuronic acid; Hexenuronic acid
Date of Publication:01/01/2007