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The Process Development Center

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Facilities Available for Use - Pulping

The PDC’s pilot plant is equipped to perform pulping studies to evaluate wood and non-woody raw materials and chemical additives. These studies can be performed on any stage of chemical or mechanical pulp production.

Pulping Equipment and Pulp & Fiber Analytical Equipment

Chipping and Screening

The PDC has modern equipment for evaluation of different kinds of raw material for pulp and paper production. Using chips for pulp production, we can analyze for important properties such as:

Chemical Pulping

In chemical pulping, chemicals are used for dissolving and removing the lignin that holds the fibers together. 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.

Mechanical Pulping

In mechanical pulping, the original chemical constituents of the fibrous material are unchanged. The Sprout-Bauer TMP is used to pulp wood chips and for non-woody plant pulping. It can also be used as part of the recycle system for evaluating paper as a raw material.

Other Capabilities

A pulp yield measurement method has been developed at the PDC. 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 that 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, visit our Planning Your Project page.


Image Description: Pulper at the Jenness Hall pilot plant

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Contact Information

The Process Development Center
5737 Jenness Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: 207.581.2281 | Fax: 207.581.4174
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System