Dissolving-grade birch pulps produced under various prehydrolysis intensities: Quality, structure and applications

Lidia Testova, Marc Borrega, Lasse K. Tolonen, Paavo A. Penttilä, Ritva Serimaa, Per Tomas Larsson, Herbert Sixta (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aqueous-phase prehydrolysis followed by alkaline pulping is a viable process to produce wood-based dissolving pulps. However, detailed characterisation of the achievable pulp quality, performance and cellulose structure is yet lacking. In this study, the production of hemicellulose-lean birch soda-anthraquinone pulps after prehydrolysis under various intensities was investigated. Increasing prehydrolysis intensity resulted in pulps of higher purity but lower cellulose yield and degree of polymerisation. Higher cellulose yield by using sodium borohydride during pulping was achieved at the expense of reducing pulp purity. Cellulose crystallinity was similar in all pulps indicating simultaneous degradation of both crystalline and amorphous cellulose regions. Reinforced prehydrolysis seemingly increased the cellulose crystal size and the interfibrillar distances. Moderate intensity prehydrolysis (170 °C) resulted in a pulp well suited for viscose application, whereas reinforced prehydrolysis favoured the production of acceptable cellulose triacetate dope. The performance of the pulps in viscose and acetate applications was strongly related to the chemical and structural properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2007-2021
Number of pages15
JournalCellulose
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Cellulose acetate
  • Cellulose structure
  • Dissolving pulp
  • Macromolecular properties
  • Prehydrolysis
  • Viscose

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