High consistency enzymatic pretreatment of eucalyptus and softwood kraft fibres for regenerated fibre products

Elisa Spönla (Corresponding Author), Jenni Rahikainen, Antje Potthast, Stina Grönqvist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


Sustainability of regenerated cellulosic fibres could be improved by using paper grade pulp instead of dissolving pulp as a raw material in the fibre spinning process. However, the use of paper grade pulp calls for adjustment of the molar mass distribution (MMD) prior to dissolution to obtain good solubility and spinnability. The objective of this work was to adjust MMD of softwood and eucalyptus kraft pulps by enzymatic treatments at high pulp consistency. The reduction of the MMD of eucalyptus kraft pulp was found to require a nearly 30-fold higher dose of endoglucanase compared to the treatment of softwood pulp. Interestingly, when xylanase was used in combination with endoglucanase to treat eucalyptus kraft pulp, 27% of the xylan was dissolved and the required endoglucanase dose could be decreased from 0.57 to 0.06 mg/g. The endoglucanase dose could be further decreased to 0.028 mg/g when 67% of xylan was removed chemically before the enzymatic treatment. This suggests that xylan hinders endoglucanase action on eucalyptus kraft pulp. For softwood pulp, the addition of xylanase and mannanase had only a minor impact on the treatment efficiency. The different processabilities of softwood and eucalyptus kraft pulps are suggested to originate from the deviating cellulose accessibility which is affected by the fibre structures as well as their hemicellulose composition and localisation. The effect of the treatment consistency was further studied with softwood kraft pulp. Treatment at high consistency clearly enhanced the endoglucanase action whereas the effect of solid content on the hemicellulase action was modest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4609-4622
Number of pages14
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - May 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Dissolution
  • Endoglucanase
  • Mannanase
  • Molar mass
  • Reactivity
  • Xylanase


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