Chlorine Free Paper Issues


Are there performance problems with certain equipment?

Only if the fibers are too long or too short. - James S. Han, Research Chemist, USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory

Performance problems would be expected. Where such problems arise, equipment modifications or replacements would be required. Confidence in the size and sustainability of market demand for such fiber would be necessary to justify the financial commitment. - International Paper

The performance problems are potentially serious depending on the type of fiber and the degree to which the fiber is refined. - Living Tree Paper Company

On some runs at the Ecusta Mill, there was too much dirt in the kenaf and flax mix. However, newer harvesting and disking methods, similar to corn harvesting, are used that solve this problem. Once the kenaf is past the digester, it runs just like wood pulp. - Tom Rymsza, President, Vision Paper

Again, there is so much variation in the quality of the non-woods, if a poor quality pulp is produced than of course there will be performance problems. If a high quality non-wood pulp is produced, there will not be performance problems. - Jeanne Trombly, Fiber Futures

These have mostly been noted above: Raw material handling equipment needs to be specially designed for plant fibers, pulping digesters also need to be specially designed for plant fibers, all stages where water is drained from the pulp fibers need to be adjusted to the slower drainage. The high speed modern paper machines are probably more difficult to adjust to accept nonwood fibers. - Michael Jackson, Consultant, Tolovana Park, OR

A fiber that has poor papermaking qualities can affect everything from drainage to printability and recyclability. A fiber such as kenaf will have no problems on any equipment. - Tom Rymsza, President, Vision Paper

Arundo donax goes through the machines just like wood. However, it absorbs the chemicals better and faster than wood because of the spores in the end. So, the fibers break down faster, leading to a faster processing time. - Ernett Altherimer, Founder and Chairman, Nile Fiber

We haven't heard any from the printing side. - Tyson Miller, Program Director, Recycled Products Purchasing Cooperative

The whole kenaf stalk has a low lignin content (11-13%) and is easily pulped by either the Kraft process of soda, with or without anthraquinone additive. Good reduction in kappa to bleachable ranges (20-25) was obtained at high yields (48-49%). - Jackson 1997

Both [wheat straw and rice straw] have a high silica content, with that of rice straw being about double that of wheat straw - and so contributing to nonwood chemical recovery problems. Thus, in Canadian wheat straw of 6-11% ash content, at least 60% is silica (distributed in the stem as small bodies called phytoliths), and 10-20% is potassium (another undesirable non-process element). [Watson, P.A. and Bicho, P.A. 1998]
      The new Cellpaille mill, in France, is using a Saica digester and soda cook, with spent liquor recovery/treatment by the LPS Process (Granit). The spent black liquor is acidified to pH 2.5-3 to precipitate the lignin, which is then processed, washed, dried and sold for uses similar to those for lignosulfonates (although it is sulfur-free). The resulting filtrate is treated by wet air oxidation (SRS Process; sodium recovery system), with oxgyen being utilized rather than air. Wheat straw has a slower drainage and higher content of nonfibrous cells, which may slow down paper machines and necessitate the use of special washers in the processing lines. Due to high hemicelluloses (aids in swelling of fibers), may aid in water retention. - Jacobs 1997

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