Effect of Kappa Number Variation on Modified Pulping of Eucalyptus

Tiago Edson Simkunas Segura, Juliana Rodrigues Siviero dos Santos, Camila Sarto, Francides Gomes da Silva Jr.


This work evaluated the impact of brownstock pulp kappa number variations on modified pulping process, oxygen delignification, bleaching, and the physical characteristics on bleached pulp. Wood chips of 6-year-old Eucalyptus grandis x Eucalyptus urophylla from Brazil were used. A modified pulping process was performed with the purpose of achieving two delignification levels on brownstock pulp: kappa 18 and kappa 15. Pulps were submitted to oxygen delignification and elemental chlorine-free (ECF) bleaching to achieve 89.5 ± 0.5% of ISO brightness. Subsequently, pulps were refined in four levels (0, 750, 1500, and 3000 rotations) for physical mechanical tests. Delignification increased after increasing the cooking H factor and alkali charge. As a result, delignification negatively impacted the pulping yields (from 56.1% to 55.0%) and the pulp viscosity (from 1,317 cm³/g to 1,227 cm³/g). Pulps with an initial kappa of 15 presented more efficient oxygen delignification and lower consumption of bleaching reagents. The final viscosity of these pulps were lower (899 cm³/g against 963 cm³/g), however, than that of the pulps with an initial kappa of 18. Furthermore, the pulps with a higher unbleached kappa demanded less refining energy and had lower capillarity. The other physical properties were not influenced by the brownstock delignification level.


Kraft pulping; Hardwood; Delignification level

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