Facilities Available for Use - Pulping
Pulping studies can be performed to evaluate wood and non-woody raw materials, chemical additives, and on any stage of chemical and/or mechanical pulp production.
Pulping Equipment and Pulp & Fiber Analytical Equipment
- Rocking digester (4:1 liquor:wood ratio)
- 4 ft3 steam heated digester
- Bomb digester/reactor
- Alkali profiling pulping system
- Slotted flat screen
- TMP/CTMP/RMP pilot disc refiner (12” disc)
- Chip classifiers
- Standard pulp evaluation apparatus
- Gas chromatograph/Mass spectrometer
- Liquid chromatograph/Mass spectrometer
- UV spectrometer
Chipping and Screening
The University of Maine has modern equipment for evaluation of different kinds of raw material for pulp and paper production. In chips for pulp production, we can analyze for important properties such as:
- Size and thickness distribution
- Bark content
- Basic density
- Bulk density
- Chemical composition
In chemical pulping, chemicals are used for dissolving and removing the lignin that holds the fibers together. Common pulping processes may be studies at UMaine. Our main cooking equipment consists of a recirculatory digester. It is a flexible cooking system where injection, withdrawal and displacement of cooking liquors can be carried out at predetermined temperatures and pressures.
In mechanical pulping, the original chemical constituents of the fibrous material are unchanged. The Sprout-Bauer TMP has been used to pulp wood chips and for non-woody plant pulping. It has the capability of also being used as part of the recycle system for evaluating paper as a raw material.
A pulp yield measurement method has been developed at the University of Maine. Samples are collected at the mill, then analyzed for cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin content and cellulose degree of polymerization. The total yield for the mill operation is then calculated. A validated data bank for estimating pulp yield using this technique can be used to estimate the yield of a variety of wood species and various pulps, provided the wood furnish composition is known.
Our lab is also equipped to evaluate the effects of kraft pulping on pulp yield, optimize fiber strength, and evaluate the effects of additives during pulping. As well as the analysis of extractives, carbohydrates, ash, viscosity, klason and soluble lignin and kappa and permanganate number.
To begin working with us, please visit our Planning Your Project page.