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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

Intrafiber distribution of aluminum components in alum-treated handsheets


The distribution of aluminum components in cross sections of pulp fibers for alum-treated handsheets was successfully measured by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis. In this case, gas-phase osmium coating of paper samples is necessary for the samples to have improved stability to long-term irradiation by electron beams at high magnification during the SEM-EDX measurements. The EDX line-analysis method was superior to the elemental mapping image method in the quantification of aluminum components. According to the SEM-EDX measurement for handsheets prepared from a pulp suspension by adding 2% (on dry weight of pulp) aluminum sulfate, the aluminum components were distributed almost homogeneously in the cross sections of pulp fibers. Aluminum species with smaller sizes than those of A1(OH)3 flocs could probably penetrate the pulp fibers. Thus, aluminum components present only at the pulp fiber surfaces may contribute to retention of colloidal substances in pulp suspensions. From this aspect, a large amount of aluminum components present in the inside pulp fibers may be wasted.


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Correspondence to Akira Isogai.

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Kato, M., Isogai, A. & Onabe, F. Intrafiber distribution of aluminum components in alum-treated handsheets. J Wood Sci 46, 75–78 (2000).

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Key words

  • Aluminum sulfate
  • Intrafiber
  • Distribution
  • Osmium coating