Yao Chen, Yongming Fan, Mandla A. Tshabalala, Nicole M. Stark, Jianmin Gao, Ruijie Liu


To investigate the optical properties of chemithermomechanical pulp (CTMP) from Eucalyptus camaldulensis, one group of samples of CTMP was aged by heating, and another group was first subjected to bleaching with different bleaching agents, and then aging by exposure to sunlight. Chromophores were analyzed using diffuse reflectance UV-Vis spectra (DRUV), and the brightness and color parameters (L*, a*, b*) were analyzed using colorimetry. Results showed that the color reactions of the pulp, upon heating, were enhanced in the presence of moisture. There was a linear relationship between the pulp initial moisture content (MC) and the intensity of UV-Vis absorption. The contribution of different chromophores to pulp color was analyzed with the help of bleaching agents: hydrogen peroxide, sodium dithionite, and sodium borohydride. Sodium borohydride and hydrogen peroxide treatments resulted in a decrease in the absorption band at 280 nm along with the shoulder near 320 nm, which could be attributed to conjugated C=O and C=C systems. Similarly, sodium dithionite treatment also led to a decrease in absorption of the carbonyls and double bonds conjugated with aromatic double bonds. The chromaticity parameters of bleached pulp increased after exposure to sunlight. A correspondingly higher concentration of quinoid structures was found.


CTMP; Pulp; Optical properties; Yellowing; Light irradiation; Heat treatment

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