Caustic potash pulping study of water efficient Arudno donax and Sorghum bicolor; a comparison to sugarcane bagasse

Rainey, Thomas J. & Doherty, William O.S. (2013) Caustic potash pulping study of water efficient Arudno donax and Sorghum bicolor; a comparison to sugarcane bagasse. In 2013 Appita Conference, 8-10 May 2013, Melbourne Park Function Centre, Melbourne, Australia.

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Abstract

Numerous crops grow in sugar regions that have the potential to increase the amount of biomass available to a small bagasse-based pulp factory. Arundo donax and Sorghum offer unique advantages to farmers compared to other agricultural crops. Sorghum bicolour requires only 1/3 of the water of sugarcane. Arundo donax is a very high yield crop, it can also grow with little water but it has the further advantage in that it is also highly stress tolerant, making it suitable for land which is unsuited to other crops. Pulps produced from these crops were benchmarked against sugarcane bagasse pulp.

Arundo, sorghum and bagasse were pulped using KOH and anthraquinone to 20 Kappa number so as to produce a bleachable pulp. The unbleached sorghum pulp has better tensile strength properties than the unbleached Arundo pulp (43.8 Nm/g compared to 21.4 Nm/g) and the bleached sorghum pulp tensile strength was similar to bagasse (28.4 Nm/g). At 20 Kappa number, sorghum pulp had acceptable yield for a non-wood fibre (45% c.f. 55% for bagasse), Arundo donax pulp had low tensile strength, and relatively low yield (38.7%), even for an agricultural fibre and required severe cooking conditions to achieve similar delignification to sugarcane bagasse or sorghum. Sorghum and Arundo donax produced thicker handsheets than bagasse (>160 μm c.f. 122 μm for bagasse). In preliminary experiments sorghum and bagasse responded slightly better to Totally Chlorine Free bleaching (QPP), although none achieved a satisfactory brightness level and more optimisation is needed.

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ID Code: 59995
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Bagasse, Pulp, Arundo, Sorghum, Caustic potash
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CHEMICAL ENGINEERING (090400)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > MATERIALS ENGINEERING (091200) > Timber Pulp and Paper (091210)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Research Centres > Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 15 May 2013 01:04
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2014 05:50

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