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Mechanical Pulp-Based Nanocellulose: Processing and applications relating to paper and paperboard, composite films, and foams
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Chemical Engineering.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis deals with processing of nanocellulose originating from pulps, with focus on mechanical pulp fibres and fines fractions. The nanocellulose materials produced within this research project were tested for different purposes ranging from strength additives in paper and paperboard products, via composite films to foam materials. TAPPI (Technical Association of Pulp & Paper Industry) has recently suggested a standard terminology and nomenclature for nanocellulose materials (see paper I). In spite of that we have decided to use the terms nano-ligno-cellulose (NLC), microfibrillated cellulose (MFC), nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) and nanocellulose (NC) in this thesis . It is well-known that mainly chemical pulps are used as starting material in nanocellulose production. However, chemical pulps as bleached sulphite and bleached kraft are quite expensive. One more cost-effective alternative can be to use fibres or fines fractions from thermo-mechanical pulp (TMP) and chemi-thermomechanical pulp (CTMP).

 

In paper II-IV, fractionation has been used to obtain fines fractions that can easily be mechanically treated using homogenisation. The idea with this study was to investigate the possibility to use fractions of low quality materials from fines fractions for the production of nanocellulose. The integration of a nanocellulose unit process in a high-yield pulping production line has a potential to become a future way to improve the quality level of traditional products such as paper and paperboard grades.

 

Paper III describes how to utilise the crill measurement technique as a tool for qualitative estimation of the amount of micro- and nano-material produced in a certain process. The crill values of TMP- and CTMP-based nanocelluloses were measured as a function of the homogenisation time. Results showed that the crill values of both TMP-NLC and CTMP-NLC correlated with the homogenisation time. In Paper V pretreating methods, hydrogen peroxide and TEMPO are evaluated. Crill measurement showed that hydrogen peroxide pretreatment (1% and 4%) and mechanical treatment time did not improve fibrillation efficiency as much as expected. However, for TEMPO-oxidised nanocelluloses, the crill value significantly increased with both the TEMPO chemical treatment and mechanical treatment time. In paper V-VII TEMPO-mediated oxidation systems (TEMPO/NaBr/NaClO) are applied to these fibres (CTMP and Sulphite pulp) in order to swell them so that it becomes easy to disrupt the fibres into nanofibres with mechanical treatment.

 

The demand for paperboard and other packaging materials are steadily increasing. Paper strength properties are crucial when the paperboard is to withstand high load. A solution that are investigated in papers IV and VI, is to use MFC as an alternative paper strength additive in papermaking. However, if one wish to target extremely higher strength improvement results, particularly for packaging paperboards, then it would be fair to use MFC or cationic starch (CS). In paper VI CS or TEMPO-based MFC was used to improve the strength properties of CTMP-based paperboard products. Results here indicate significant strength improvement with the use of different levels of CS (i.e., 20 and 10 kg t–1) and 5% MFC. The strengthening impact of 5% MFC was approximately equal to that of 10 kg t–1 of CS.

 

In paper VII, NFC and nanographite (NG) was used when producing composite films with enhanced sheet-resistance and mechanical properties. The films produced being quite stable, flexible, and bendable. Realising this concept of NFC-NG composite film would create new possibilities for technological advancement in the area of high-yield pulp technology.  Finally, in paper VIII, a new processing method for nanocellulose is introduced  where an organic acid (i.e., formic acid) is used. This eco-friendly approach has shown to be successful, a nanocellulose with a uniform size distribution has been produced.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University , 2016. , 93 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 245
Keyword [en]
mechanical pulp, thermo-mechanical pulp, chemi-thermomechanical pulp, fractionation, fines, homogenisation, nanocellulose, nano-ligno-cellulose, microfibrillated cellulose, nanofibrillated cellulose, paper, strength properties, crill, TEMPO, nanographite (NG), composite films
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29076ISBN: 978-91-88025-64-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-29076DiVA: diva2:1033818
Public defence
2016-04-22, O102, Holmgatan 10, SE-851 70, Sundsvall, 10:56 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Vid tidpunkten för disputationen var följande delarbeten opublicerade: delarbete 5 och 7 inskickade, delarbete 6 och 8 manuskript.

At the time of the doctoral defence the following papers were unpublished: paper 5 and 7 submitted, paper 6 and 8 manuscripts.

Available from: 2016-10-11 Created: 2016-10-10 Last updated: 2017-02-28Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Processing of wood-based microfibrillated cellulose and nanofibrillated cellulose, and applications relating to papermaking: a review
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Processing of wood-based microfibrillated cellulose and nanofibrillated cellulose, and applications relating to papermaking: a review
2016 (English)In: Cellulose (London), ISSN 0969-0239, E-ISSN 1572-882X, Vol. 23, no 1, 93-123 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As an emerging cellulosic nanomaterial, microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) and nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) have shown enormous potential in the forest products industry. The forest products industry and academia are working together to realise the possibilities of commercializing MFC and NFC. However, there are still needs to improve the processing, characterisation and material properties of nanocellulose in order to realise its full potential. The annual number of research publications and patents on nanocellulose with respect to manufacturing, properties and applications is now up in the thousands, so it is of the utmost importance to review articles that endeavour to research on this explosive topic of cellulose nanomaterials. This review examines the past and current situation of wood-based MFC and NFC in relation to its processing and applications relating to papermaking.

Keyword
Nanocellulose, Microfibrillated cellulose, Nanofibrillated cellulose, Paper, films, coating
National Category
Natural Sciences Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-26353 (URN)10.1007/s10570-015-0798-5 (DOI)000368802700004 ()2-s2.0-84955714542 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2015-12-03 Created: 2015-12-03 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
2. An approach to produce nano-ligno-cellulose from mechanical pulp fine materials
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An approach to produce nano-ligno-cellulose from mechanical pulp fine materials
2013 (English)In: Nordic Pulp & Paper Research Journal, ISSN 0283-2631, E-ISSN 2000-0669, Vol. 28, no 4, 472-479 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mechanical pulping, also called high-yield pulping processes, are pulping systems where a great deal of effort is taken with regards to the fractionation in screens and cleaners as well as to optimize process conditions to refine the rejected fractions. The fraction that is rejected for further treatment can vary from 10 to 50% depending on process strategy and final product which can be from printing paper, writing paper, paperboard middle layer and tissue. In practice, it is common that approximately 10% of the pulp fibres and also a large part of the fines fraction have properties that are unsatisfactory in relation to the final products. Part of the less useful fines fraction could instead be used to produce nano-ligno-cellulose (NLC) of high value either in the main product or used for completely different purposes.

In order to study the potential of this concept, treatment of thermo-mechanical pulp (TMP) fines fractions were studied by means of homogenization. It seems possible to homogenize fine particles of thermo-mechanical pulp (1% w/v) to NLC. A corresponding fines fraction from bleached kraft pulp (BKP) was tested as a reference at 0.5% w/v concentration. This fines (BKP) fraction was very difficult to homogenize at a higher concentration (1% w/v). An explanation for this could be that the BKP fines have much higher cellulose content and lower charge level compared to the fines fraction of the hemicellulose and lignin-rich TMP. Fibre length-weighteddistribution plays a vital role with respect to both pressure fluctuations and clogging during treatment in the homogenizing equipment.

 

Keyword
Mechanical Pulp, Fractionation, Fines, Fibre length-weighted distribution, Nano-ligno-cellulose
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-20810 (URN)10.3183/NPPRJ-2013-28-04-p472-479 (DOI)000328642400001 ()2-s2.0-84891873926 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2013-12-19 Created: 2013-12-19 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Crill: A novel technique to characterize nano-ligno-cellulose
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Crill: A novel technique to characterize nano-ligno-cellulose
Show others...
2014 (English)In: Nordic Pulp & Paper Research Journal, ISSN 0283-2631, E-ISSN 2000-0669, Vol. 29, no 2, 190-194 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The CrillEye is a technique for qualitatively assessing loose slender and fibrillar particles created during pulping. It has also been demonstrated that the crill measurement technique can easily be used to measure the degree of fibrillation of mechanical pulp based nano-ligno-cellulose (NLC). The measurement technique is based on an optical response of a suspension at two wavelengths of light; UV and IR. The UV light contains information on both fibres and crill, while IR only contains information on fibres. The resolution on the CrillEye module is based on optical response of the pulp and on an analogue signal analysis making it concentration independent. Characterization of particle-size distribution of nano-ligno-cellulose is both important and challenging. The objective of the work presented in this paper was to study the crill values of TMP and CTMP based nano-ligno-celluloses as a function of homogenization time. Results showed that the crill value of both TMP-NLC and CTMP-NLC correlated fairly well with the homogenization time.

Keyword
Crill, Fractionation, Homogenization, Mechanical pulp fines, Nano-ligno-cellulose
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-21573 (URN)000338336400001 ()2-s2.0-84901797617 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2014-03-12 Created: 2014-03-12 Last updated: 2017-08-10Bibliographically approved
4. Paper strength improvement by inclusion of nano-ligno-cellulose to Chemi-thermomechanical pulp
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Paper strength improvement by inclusion of nano-ligno-cellulose to Chemi-thermomechanical pulp
2014 (English)In: Nordic Pulp & Paper Research Journal, ISSN 0283-2631, E-ISSN 2000-0669, Vol. 29, no 2, 309-316 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

So far, chemical pulp fibres have been utilized as conventional stock materials for nanocellulose production. The main aim of this work is to use stock materials from mechanical or chemi-thermomechanical pulping process to produce lignin containing nanofibres, which are referred to as nano-ligno-cellulose (NLC) in this study. The present study shows the influence on handsheets of chemi-thermomechanical pulp (CTMP) fibres blended with NLC. For comparison reasons, nanocellulose (NC) from bleached kraft pulp (BKP) was produced in a similar approach as NLC. Both the NLC and the NC were blended with their respective pulp fibres and their corresponding handsheets properties were evaluated with respect to sheet density. It was found that the handsheets of pulp fibres blended with NLC/NC improved the mechanical properties of handsheets with only a slight effect in relation to the sheet density. Improvements in strength properties of handsheets such as z-strength, tensile index, tear index, burst index, E-modulus, strain at break, tensile stiffness, air resistance were observed.

Keyword
Ctmp, Fractionation, Handsheet, Mechanical strength properties, Nano-ligno-cellulose
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-21574 (URN)000338336400016 ()2-s2.0-84901744901 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2014-03-12 Created: 2014-03-12 Last updated: 2017-08-10Bibliographically approved
5. Qualitative evaluation of microfibrillated cellulose usingthe crill method and some aspects of microscopy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Qualitative evaluation of microfibrillated cellulose usingthe crill method and some aspects of microscopy
Show others...
2016 (English)In: Cellulose (London), ISSN 0969-0239, E-ISSN 1572-882X, Vol. 23, no 6, 3611-3624 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It has been a challenge to develop rapid online characterisation techniques for nanocellulose given the fibrillar structure of the nanoparticles. The crill optical analyser uses optical response signals in the infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) wavelength ranges to evaluate the particle size properties of micro/nanofibrillar cellulosic materials. In this work, the crill analyser was used to measure the projected areas of UV and IR light sources by measuring the light blocked by nanocellulosic particles. This work uses the crill methodology as a new, simplified technique to characterise the particle size distribution of nanocellulosic material based on chemi-thermomechanical pulp (CTMP), thermomechanical pulp (TMP), and sulphite pulp (SP). In the first part, hydrogen peroxide pretreatment of CTMP and TMP in a wing mill refiner followed by high-pressure homogenisation to produce microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) was evaluated using the crill method. In the second part, TEMPO oxidation of CTMP and SP combined with high-shear homogenisation to produce MFC was studied using the crill method. With 4 % hydrogen peroxide pretreatment, the crill values of the unhomogenised samples were 218 and 214 for the TMP and CTMP, respectively, improving to 234 and 229 after 18 homogenisation passes. The results of the TEMPO method indicated that, for the 5 mmol NaClO SP-MFC, the crill value was 108 units at 0 min and 355 units after 90 min of treatment, a 228 % improvement. The CTMP and TMP fibres and the MFC were freeze dried and fibrillar structure of the fibres and microfibrils was visualised using scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-28779 (URN)10.1007/s10570-016-1068-x (DOI)000388961200019 ()2-s2.0-84986325572 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-09-14 Created: 2016-09-14 Last updated: 2017-08-09Bibliographically approved
6. The use of cationic starch and microfibrillated cellulose to improve strength properties of CTMP-based paperboard
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The use of cationic starch and microfibrillated cellulose to improve strength properties of CTMP-based paperboard
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-30359 (URN)
Available from: 2017-02-28 Created: 2017-02-28 Last updated: 2017-02-28Bibliographically approved
7. Nanofibrillated cellulose/nanographite composite films
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Nanofibrillated cellulose/nanographite composite films
Show others...
2016 (English)In: Cellulose (London), ISSN 0969-0239, E-ISSN 1572-882X, Vol. 23, no 4, 2487-2500 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Though research into nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) has recently increased, few studies have considered co-utilising NFC and nanographite(NG) in composite films, and, it has, however been a challenge to use high-yield pulp fibres (mechanical pulps) to produce this nanofibrillar material. It is worth noting that there is a significant difference between chemical pulp fibres and high-yield pulp fibres, as the former is composed mainly of cellulose and has a yield of approximately 50 % while the latter is consist of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, and has a yield of approximately 90 %. NFC was produced by combining TEMPO (2,2,6,6-tetramethypiperidine-1-oxyl)-mediated oxidation with the mechanical shearing of chemi-thermomechanical pulp (CTMP) and sulphite pulp (SP); the NG was produced by mechanically exfoliating graphite. The different NaClO dosages in the TEMPO system differently oxidised the fibres, altering their fibrillation efficiency. NFC-NG films were produced by casting in a Petri dish. We examine the effect of NG on the sheet-resistance and mechanical properties of NFC films. Addition of 10 wt% NG to 90 wt% NFC of sample CC2 (5 mmol NaClO CTMP-NFC homogenised for 60 min) improved the sheet resistance, i.e. from that of an insulating pure NFC film to 180 Omega/sq. Further addition of 20 (CC3) and 25 wt% (CC4) of NG to 80 and 75 wt% respectively, lowered the sheet resistance to 17 and 9 Omega/sq, respectively. For the mechanical properties, we found that adding 10 wt% NG to 90 wt% NFC of sample HH2(5 mmol NaClO SP-NFC homogenised for 60 min) improved the tensile index by 28 %, tensile stiffness index by 20 %, and peak load by 28 %. The film's surface morphology was visualised using scanning electron microscopy, revealing the fibrillated structure of NFC and NG. This methodology yields NFC-NG films that are mechanically stable, bendable, and flexible.

Keyword
Nanofibrillated cellulose, Nanographite, Nanocomposites, TEMPO, High-speed homogenisation
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-28778 (URN)10.1007/s10570-016-0990-2 (DOI)000380089300017 ()2-s2.0-84975467623 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-09-14 Created: 2016-09-14 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved
8. Eco-friendly design for scalable direct fabrication of nanocellulose
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Eco-friendly design for scalable direct fabrication of nanocellulose
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-30360 (URN)
Available from: 2017-02-28 Created: 2017-02-28 Last updated: 2017-02-28Bibliographically approved

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