Biomass Cane Bagasse: An Alternative Raw Material for Dissolving Pulp Production
Supalai Lawan, Pratuang Puthson, and Thidarat Nimchua
In this study, the potential of biomass cane bagasse in the production of dissolving pulp was evaluated. The chemical composition of whole bagasse was analyzed, and then prehydrolyzed with different acid pretreatments and subsequently pulped via the soda process. The unbleached soda pulps were fully bleached using elemental chlorine-free bleaching with the D EpD sequence and their dissolving pulp properties were evaluated. The biomass cane bagasse contained 49.0% cellulose, 26.4% pentosan, 17.7% acid-insoluble lignin, 1.9% acid-soluble lignin, 4.5% acetone extractives, and 1.8% ash. The acid pretreatment at 0.2–0.3% (w/v) acid and at a temperature of 150 °C for 30 min was sufficient for the removal of pentosan from the biomass cane bagasse and achieved a low pentosan content and kappa number for the unbleached soda pulps. The results showed that biomass cane bagasse produced high-purity bleached pulps containing a high alphacellulose content (96.0–96.3%), high pulp viscosity (615–723 mL/g), high brightness (91.8–92.9% ISO), high R10 content (93.3–95.0%), and high R18 content (95.8–98.9%) but low pentosan (2.0–3.3%), acetone extractives (0.08–0.10%), and ash (0.12–0.14%) content. Hence, biomass cane bagasse can be used as a raw material for preparing standard and high-grade dissolving pulp, and other bio-products.