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Size-Exclusion Chromatography of the Soluble Lignin Products From Hydrogen Peroxide Brightening of Mechanical Pulps

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The molar mass distributions and yields of soluble lignin degradation products formed during the alkaline hydrogen peroxide brightening of spruce mechanical pulp have been determined. These distributions depend on pH, the extent to which the pulp was subjected to solvent extractions, H2O2 concentration and reaction time. At and below pH 11, there is an excellent correlation between the brightness and b* values on pulp and the amounts of residual peroxide and lignin derived products in solution. Brightening reactions lead primarily to products with intermediate molecular mass values between 1500 and 6000. During multistage brightening, the products formed are initially those with high ionizable phenolic hydroxyl and low carbohydrate contents, and carbonyl-containing moieties. NMR and UV spectroscopic analysis show that products formed include lignin and carbohydrate-containing species. The lignin-originating products from the later stages contain a lower relative concentration of ionizable phenolic groups and more visible-absorbing and carbohydrate-containing species. Brightness and b* gains during multistage brightening were exponential with product yield.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemistry and Centre for Northern Studies, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 5E1, Canada; 2: Department of Chemistry, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 5E1, Canada


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