Comparison of Soda, Kraft, and DES Pulp Properties of European Black Poplar
Research subject and fields:
Kraft pulping as the dominant pulping method contributes to several environmental problems. To overcome these problems, environmentally friendly pulping methods have been investigated. In the last years, deep eutectic solvents (DESs) have been identified as up-and-coming reagents in the lignocellulosic material processing and they are characterized as environmentally friendly. This study investigated the use of DES in pulp production from European black poplar chips. The DES mixture was prepared from choline chloride (ChCl) and ethylene glycol (EG). In addition, traditional soda and kraft pulping methods were carried out with poplar chips for comparison with the DES pulps. It was found that pulp production from poplar chips using DES was comparable to the soda and kraft pulps in terms of pulp yield, pulp viscosity, and opacity. The DES pulps easily reached target pulp freeness levels. However, the strength properties and brightness of the DES pulps were lower than those of the soda and kraft pulps. The strength properties of DES pulps can be improved with paper strength enhancers such as starch and micro or nanofibrillated cellulose. Also, the utilization of DES in pulp production may have an important role in cleaner production and it represents a greener alternative to traditional pulp production methods.