Browsing by Subject "PULPS"

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  • Mäkelä, Valtteri; Wahlström, Ronny; Holopainen-Mantila, Ulla; Kilpeläinen, Ilkka; King, Alistair W. T. (2018)
    Herein, we describe a new method of assessing the kinetics of dissolution of single fibers by dissolution under limited dissolving conditions. The dissolution is followed by optical microscopy under limited dissolving conditions. Videos of the dissolution were processed in Image) to yield kinetics for dissolution, based on the disappearance of pixels associated with intact fibers. Data processing was performed using the Python language, utilizing available scientific libraries. The methods of processing the data include clustering of the single fiber data, identifying clusters associated with different fiber types, producing average dissolution traces and also extraction of practical parameters, such as, time taken to dissolve 25, SO, 75, 95, and 99.5% of the clustered fibers. In addition to these simple parameters, exponential fitting was also performed yielding rate constants for fiber dissolution. Fits for sample and cluster averages were variable, although demonstrating first-order kinetics for dissolution overall. To illustrate this process, two reference pulps (a bleached softwood kraft pulp and a bleached hardwood pre hydrolysis kraft pulp) and their cellulase-treated versions were analyzed. As expected, differences in the kinetics and dissolution mechanisms between these samples were observed. Our initial interpretations are presented, based on the combined mechanistic observations and single fiber dissolution kinetics for these different samples. While the dissolution mechanisms observed were similar to those published previously, the more direct link of mechanistic information with the kinetics improve our understanding of cell wall structure and pre-treatments, toward improved processability.
  • Rasa, Kimmo; Vihera-Aarnio, Anneli; Rytkonen, Peetu; Hyvaluoma, Jari; Kaseva, Janne; Suhonen, Heikki; Jyske, Tuula (2021)
    Novel bioeconomic approaches call for increasingly faster production of lignocellulosic biomass and its bettertailored use for higher added value. The high-yield capacity and structural properties of willows (Salix spp.) suggest their excellent potential for the production of designed biochar for use in agronomic, electronic and technical applications. All these applications rely on the internal pore structure of biochar. However, we lack an in-depth quantitative understanding of the interlinkages between the feedstock properties and the physical quality of the biochar produced. We studied quantitatively how the clonal and within-plant properties of five different willow clones (hybrids of Salix schwerinii E.L. Wolf) affected the micrometre-scale pore properties of the produced biochars (pyrolyzed at + 462 ?C). The porosity and pore size distribution were analysed before and after slow pyrolysis by X-ray microtomography and image analysis. We also studied the potential of conventional low-cost fibre analysis techniques to be used to predict biochar pore properties directly from fresh feedstock. The total porosity (0.55?0.62) and the pore size distribution of willow wood and derived biochars varied between clones. Approximately two-thirds of the biochar total porosity was associated with pores formed by wood fibres. Pyrolysis levelled off the structural variation detected between and within the clones. Pyrolysis-induced shrinkage reduced the pore sizes and narrowed the pore size distribution. The results suggest that conventional fibre analysis techniques could be utilized to predict biochar homogeneity. Short rotation coppice willows are suitable feedstock to produce homogenous biochar precursor for production of bio-based carbon materials to be used in high value-added technical applications. The structural homogeneity of the feedstock and produced biochar can be enhanced by selecting proper harvesting strategy and clones used in plantations. From the industrial perspective, comprehensive understanding of feedstock properties helps to control quality of the produced biochar.