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Sulfuric acid bleaching of kraft pulp II: Behavior of lignin and carbohydrate during sulfuric acid bleaching


The purpose of this study was to investigate the behavior of lignin and carbohydrates in kraft pulps during sulfuric acid bleaching. Beech kraft pulp and red pine kraft pulp were bleached with dilute sulfuric acid at pH 1.3 with addition of sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite at 100°C for 1 h. The pulps were then extracted with aqueous sodium hydroxide solution at 70°C for 1 h. Lignin and carbohydrates in the acid effluents and the alkali effluents were analyzed. The carbohydrate compositions of unbleached and bleached kraft pulps were also determined. The residual lignin in kraft pulp was degraded to a molecular size similar to that of milled wood lignin during sulfuric acid bleaching without additives, and it was further degraded to a much smaller molecular size during sulfuric acid bleaching with additives. It was found that the amount of carbohydrate dissolved in the bleach effluents were only about 1 of the dry weight of the kraft pulp under these bleaching conditions. The carbohydrates dissolved during bleaching were mostly of hemicellulose origin.


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Correspondence to Shuji Hosoya.

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Ikeda, T., Tomimura, Y., Magara, K. et al. Sulfuric acid bleaching of kraft pulp II: Behavior of lignin and carbohydrate during sulfuric acid bleaching. J Wood Sci 45, 313–318 (1999).

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Key words

  • Sulfuric acid bleaching
  • Nonchlorine bleaching
  • Residual lignin
  • Kraft pulp