Silica Removal using Aluminium Sulphate and Sodium Aluminate during the Bamboo Cooking Process

Yongjian Xu, Weipeng Zhang, Xiaopeng Yue, Dingjun Zhang


The desilication effects of aluminium sulphate and sodium aluminate on kraft bamboo pulp during the cooking process were investigated in this study. Furthermore, the residual aluminium ion concentration in the resulting black liquor was measured by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) to evaluate the scaling properties of black liquor during the evaporation process. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) analysis showed that aluminium salts could react with silica to form a silica-alumina compound, which can adhere to the fibre surface during the cooking process. As a result, the silicon content in the black liquor could be effectively decreased by the addition of aluminium sulphate and sodium aluminate. A silica removal ratio of 74% could be achieved when the loadings of aluminium sulphate and sodium aluminate were 2.0 wt.% and 1.5 wt.%, respectively. Finally, the concentration of aluminium ions was 7.31 ppm under optimised conditions. Based on these considerations, any amounts of aluminum ion passing into the black liquor are unlikely to contribute to scaling problems.


Bamboo pulp; Cooking; Silica removal; Black liquor; Scale

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