Fibres and energy from wheat straw by simple practice: Dissertation

Anja Leponiemi

Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles

1 Citation (Scopus)


The overall purpose of this work is to evaluate the possibilities of wheat straw for fibre and energy production and address the question of whether or not it is possible to develop a cost-effective process for producing good quality pulp from wheat straw for current paper or paperboard products. In addition, in light of the green energy boom, the question of whether fibre production could give added value to energy production using wheat straw is addressed. Due to the logistics of the bulky raw material, the process should be applied on a small scale that determines the requirements for the process. The process should be simple, have low chemical consumption and be environmentally safe. The processes selected for the study were based on an initial hot water treatment. Actual defibration in the "chemical" approach was then performed using a subsequent alkaline peroxide bleaching process or in the "mechanical" approach through mechanical refining. In both approaches, energy can be produced from lower quality material such as dissolved solids or fines. In this work, one of the primary aims besides the development of the abovementioned process is to investigate the chemical storage of wheat straw which decays easily between harvesting periods and examine its effects on pulping and pulp properties. In addition, the aim of this work is to determine the market potential for non-wood pulp and evaluate non-wood pulp production. The results showed that the "chemical" approach produced fibres for printing and writing. The quality of the pulp was relatively good, but the chemical consumption at the target brightness of 75% was high, indicating that a chemical recovery would be needed unless the brightness target could be significantly reduced. The "mechanical" approach produced unbleached fibres for fluting and the energy production from fines and dissolved solids generated additional income. The results also showed that it is possible to store wheat straw chemically with formic acid-based chemicals over a year without significant changes in the chemical composition. The chemical storage can be integrated with the suggested chemical or mechanical defibration process, soda pulping process or any other process utilising non-wood fibres. In China, a clear demand for non-wood-based fibres exists due to a shortage of fibre and also because of the increasing demand for bioenergy. In Europe, the competitiveness of non-wood fibre utilisation will only be established if combined with energy production.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor Degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Dahl, Olli, Supervisor, External person
Award date5 Aug 2011
Place of PublicationEspoo
Print ISBNs978-951-38-7743-9
Electronic ISBNs978-951-38-7744-6
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • non-woodfibre
  • wheat straw
  • biorefinery
  • hot water treatment
  • mechanical refining
  • alkaline peroxide bleaching
  • chemical pre-treatment
  • storage
  • assessment
  • pulp
  • energy


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