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"We want to find an option for controlling the bleaching"

Pulp mills are facing challenges that the 2018-2020 research programme will address. Various studies examining cellulose structure, chemistry and properties will help the researchers to rise to these challenges. Elisabet Brännvall explains more.

What is your research about?

In the upcoming research programme, the researchers will place huge emphasis on the opportunities for increasing resource efficiency and improving the process,.

"We are aiming for increased benefit and reduced energy and chemicals consumption during cooking and bleaching. We also want to gain increased understanding of how process parameters affect the release of lignin and carbohydrates from the fibre wall so that delignification can be accomplished more selectively, says Elisabet Brännvall.

In terms of bleaching with chlorine dioxide, the researchers want to be able to find an option for controlling the bleaching. Currently they use the pH of the liquid as a guide once the bleaching stage is complete. It would be more efficient to find a property in the unbleached pulp entering the bleaching stage that affects the bleaching process, for instance the number of functional groups in pulp.

"We will also study what options there are in the process for improving the product properties, both in terms of the pulp’s chemical composition and refining strategies”, says Elisabet.

What are the challenges?

“The challenge with as well-established and largely well-functioning a process as sulphate cooking is that there may be a perception that we already know everything and have tried everything, but there are always opportunities for improvement,” says Elisabet.

How can the challenges be solved?

- “With new measurement methods, new knowledge and new theories, we can make a great deal of progress,” says Elisabet.

The researchers need to have the courage to challenge old truths and look at things from a different angle than before. With new knowledge, the researchers hope to be able to guide the process towards the properties that they want. 

Elisabet Brännvall is responsible for the area "The modern kraft pulp mill" in the research program 2018-2020.

Contact

Elisabet Brännvall
+46 8 676 7203
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