FLOCCULATION AND REDISPERSION OF CELLULOSIC FIBER SUSPENSIONS: A REVIEW OF EFFECTS OF HYDRODYNAMIC SHEAR AND POLYELECTROLYTES

Martin A. Hubbe

Abstract


Cellulosic fibers in aqueous suspensions are subject to flocculation effects that involve two contrasting scales of dimension. The net effect of flocculation determines how uniformly fibers can become formed into a sheet during the manufacture of paper. At a macroscopic level, the highly elongated shape of typical wood-derived fibers in agitated sus-pensions can give rise to frequent inter-fiber collisions and the formation of fiber flocs. At a submicroscopic scale, surfaces of suspended materials can become joined by macromolecular bridges. Although such bridges tend to reduce paper’s uniformity, polyelectrolyte flocculants are used in most paper machine systems to achieve relatively high retention efficiencies of fine particles as paper is being formed. By adjusting the papermaking equipment, judiciously selecting points of addition of chemicals, and by managing chemical dosages, papermakers employ a variety of strategies to achieve favorable combinations of retention and uniformity. This review considers scholarly work that has been directed towards a greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms.

Keywords


Flocculation, Cellulose, Fibers, Pulp, Suspensions, Polyelectrolytes, Hydrodynamic shear, Paper formation, Retention aids, Uniformity, Crowding, Selective detachment

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126