Dissolving pulp : Multivariate Characterisation and Analysis of Reactivity and Spectroscopic Properties

Abstract: Various chemical properties can be used to characterise dissolving pulp. The quality of the pulp must be carefully controlled to ensure that it meets the requirements for its intended use and the further processes to be applied. If it is to be used to prepare viscose, or other cellulose derivatives, the key prop-erties of the pulp are its accessibility and reactivity. The studies described in this thesis investigated the potential utility of multivariate analysis of chemi-cal and spectral data for determining the properties of dissolving pulp. Dis-solving pulps produced by a two-stage sulfite process, both in the laboratory and a factory were produced pulps for this purpose. The analyses showed that pulp with high reactivity had short cellulose chains, low molecular weight, low polydispersity, low hemicellulose content, high content of ace-tone-extractable compounds, and high surface charge compared to pulp with low reactivity. Important chemical properties of the pulp, such as viscosity and alkali resistance, were successfully predicted from near infrared spectra. Predicting the reactivity, or the viscose filterability, of the pulp was more complex. Several chemical methods for analyzing the reactivity of the pulp were examined. The influence of the cellulose structure at the supermolecu-lar level on the reactivity of the pulp was explored by multivariate analysis of solid state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectra. Structural variables considered included: differences in hydrogen bonding, contents of hemicel-lulose, amorphous cellulose and crystalline cellulose I and II. Pulps with high reactivity have higher contents of cellulose I and amorphous cellulose than pulps with low reactivity, which have higher contents of cellulose II and hemicellulose.