Fiber Modification of Unbleached Kraft Pulp with Laccase in the Presence of Ferulic Acid

Hui Li, Shiyu Fu, Lincai Peng

Abstract


Unbleached kraft pulp fibers were modified with laccase and ferulic acid (FRC) to improve their physical strength properties in paper products. The optimal conditions of laccase-FRC modification were examined in terms of the physical properties of pulps. The effects of laccase-FRC modification on the carboxyl group content and surface lignin content of pulps were investigated. The surface morphologies of laccase-FRC-modified pulp fibers were observed by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The carboxyl group and surface lignin contents for laccase-FRC-modified pulps increased compared to the control pulp. AFM phase images showed that the laccase-FRC-modified fiber surfaces were covered with large granular substances from the products of FRC grafting and lignin polymerization/condensation reactions. The observed strength improvements of laccase-FRC-modified pulp could be attributed to the grafting of FRC onto the fibers, the higher carboxyl group content of the modified fibers, and the formation of covalent bonding between the fibers via radical coupling.

Keywords


Laccase; Ferulic acid; Kraft pulp; Physical properties; Fiber modification

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