Effects of Alkali Swelling and Beating Treatments on Properties of Kraft Pulp Fibers

Kyoung-Hwa Choi, Ah Ram Kim, Byoung-Uk Cho


Three alkali swelling methods were used to treat two kinds of kraft pulp fibers. The morphological and chemical properties of the treated fibers were elucidated in terms of alkali concentration, with the aim of developing bulky paper and conserving wood resources. The effects of beating before and after alkali swelling were examined. The water retention value of fibers increased when higher concentrations of NaOH were used for swelling. Alkali swelling increased fiber width, while fiber length decreased. With increasing NaOH concentration, fibers became curled or kinked; the crystalline structure changed from cellulose I to cellulose II, and the crystalline index decreased. Beating before and after the alkali swelling affected the swelling behavior of kraft pulps, but there was no distinct influence on the crystalline structure. The beating treatment before alkali swelling improved the alkali swelling of fiber. However, beating after the alkali treatment diminished the alkali swelling effects. In addition, the beating after alkali swelling straightened the curled fibers.


Alkali swelling; Beating; Fiber characterization; Morphological property; Water retention value; Sodium hydroxide concentration

Full Text:


Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucia-bioresources@ncsu.edu URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126