The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of autohydrolysis on mechanical defibration of Eucalyptus wood chips. The autohydrolysis process changed notably the mechanical properties of Eucalyptus chips. The removal of mainly hemicelluloses undoubtedly decreased the overall pulp yield. Hemicellulose losses cannot be solely accounted for the changes in the wood and pulp properties, because the autohydrolysis also caused changes in lignin. When comparing the mechanical pulp fibers of the original wood chips with the fibers resulting from the autohydrolyzed wood material, it was clear that the rupture point shifted from the secondary wall to the middle lamella, confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements. This study revealed the mechanical behavior of autohydrolyzed wood chips and can provide useful information for integration of mechanical pulp mills into the biorefinery concept in the future.
- energy consumption
- pulp properties