Bleaching Microcrystalline Cellulose Using Hydrogen Peroxide, Peracetic Acid, and Ozone

Riku Sakari Kopra, Kari Vanhatalo, Sonja Päärnilä, Antti Pappinen, Olli Dahl


AaltoCell™ based microcrystalline cellulose was bleached using hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid, and ozone. The target brightness was set at 85% ISO brightness of the sheet (93% Y-brightness), which is white enough for the traditional use of microcrystalline cellulose. Both the paper pulp and dissolving pulp can be hydrolyzed using the AaltoCell™ process. Using paper pulp as a raw material, the brightness of the final microcrystalline cellulose decreased. The higher the temperature and retention time during the hydrolysis process, the greater the brightness loss. This effect can be explained by the so-called caramelization reaction. Due to this phenomenon, the microcrystalline cellulose should be bleached before using the product in food and pharmaceutical applications. The results showed that the target brightness was reached with ozone at doses of approximately 5 kg/ton with a reaction time of a few minutes; peroxide and peracetic acid required approximately twice the dose and a reaction time of at least 30 min. The concentrations of the chemical oxygen demand and total organic carbon in the pulp filtrate fraction varied with the bleaching chemicals used, with both values being low with ozone and the highest with peracetic acid.


AaltoCell™; Acid hydrolysis; Caramelization; Bleaching; Microcrystalline cellulose

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