Chemical Pretreatments of Wood Chips Prior to Alkaline Pulping - A Review of Pretreatment Alternatives, Chemical Aspects of the Resulting Liquors, and Pulping Outcomes

Joni Tapani Lehto, Raimo Juhani Alén

Abstract


The chemical industry is being forced to evaluate new strategies for more effective utilization of renewable feedstocks to diminish the use of fossil resources. In this literature review, the integration of both acidic and alkaline pretreatment phases of hardwood and softwood chips with chemical pulping is discussed. Depending on the pretreatment conditions, high-volume sulfur-free fractions with varying chemical compositions can be produced. In case of acidic pretreatments, the major products include carbohydrates (mono-, oligo-, and polysaccharides), whereas under alkaline (i.e., aqueous NaOH) pretreatment conditions, the sulfur-free fractions of aliphatic carboxylic acids, lignin, and extractives are primarily obtained. All these fractions are potentially interesting groups of compounds and can be used in a number of applications. Finally, the effects of pretreatments on pulping are also considered. Although it is believed that there are important advantages to be gained by integrating this type of renewable raw material-based production, in particular, with kraft pulping, sulfur-free pulping methods such as soda-AQ and oxygen/alkali delignification processes are also briefly discussed.

Keywords


Autohydrolysis; Biorefining; Biochemicals; By-products; Carbohydrates; Delignification; Extractives; Hydrolysis; Lignin; Organic acids; Pretreatment; Pulping

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