2023 journal article

Transforming non-wood feedstocks into dissolving pulp via organosolv pulping: An alternative strategy to boost the share of natural fibers in the textile industry.


By: R. Vera n, K. Vivas n, F. Urdaneta n, J. Franco n, R. Sun n, N. Forfora n, R. Frazier n, S. Gongora n ...

author keywords: Alternative fibers; SEW; Dissolving pulp; Textiles; Sustainability
Source: Web Of Science
Added: December 18, 2023

This work evaluates wheat straw, switchgrass, and hemp hurd as potential alternatives for producing dissolving pulp using sulfur dioxide (SO2)-ethanol-water (SEW) pulping. The SEW process is described in detail for wheat straw, and the best pulping conditions for this feedstock were 130 °C, 4 h, and 10% SO2 concentration, comprised in a sulfur-ethanol-water ratio of 10-45-45. This resulted in a viscose-grade pulp with 93% α-cellulose, 2.0% hemicelluloses, <0.1% lignin, 0.2% ash content, and a viscosity of 4.7 cP. The best pulping conditions for wheat straw were applied to switchgrass and hemp hurd. Wheat straw and switchgrass had similar pulp quality, while hemp hurd pulp had a higher hemicellulose content and lower viscosity. This work suggests that non-wood feedstocks such as wheat straw and switchgrass can be promising alternatives for dissolving pulp production, which can help reduce the pressure on the textile industry to increase the use of natural fibers and mitigate the environmental impact of non-biodegradable synthetic fibers.