Effects of Residual Phenolic Compounds on Xylanase-assisted ClO2 Bleaching of Hardwood Kraft Pulp

Paul Hsieh, Chia-Ru Liu, Chun-Han Ko, Bing-Yuan Yang, Po-Heng Lin


In both pulping and bleaching processes, lignin in the pulp fiber is degraded into smaller molecules that need to be rinsed away. However, despite the installation of automatic washing equipment, the small phenolic compounds among other lignin degradation products can hardly be completely removed from the brownstock. Among the myriad of small phenolic compounds degrading from lignin, some are water-soluble and highly reactive with bleaching reagents. To understand the impact of residual phenolic compounds from black liquor on pulp bleaching, six monomeric phenolic model compounds were tested in this study. Catechol and vanillin showed inhibitory effects on xylanase activity, while catechol, vanillin, and guaiacol interfered with the delignification reaction in the chlorine dioxide (D) and alkaline extraction (E) stages of the bleaching sequence, thereby preserving the integrity of cellulose in the pulp. Because the efficiency of xylanase and bleaching reagents is hindered by the presence of these phenolic compounds, higher operational cost and more bleaching reagents are needed, which are incompatible with modern environmental policies in the world. Nonetheless, the presence of remaining soluble phenolic compounds in the brownstock can improve the bleaching selectivity important for the production of high-quality pulp with less-degraded cellulose chains.


Bleaching selectivity; Phenolic compounds; Catechol; Guaiacol; Vanillin; Xylanase; ClO2; Brownstock

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