Fractionation and LC Refining for High Bulk Low Energy Mechanical Pulp, 2016 International Mechanical Pulping (IMPC) Conference
This pilot scale study evaluates the benefits of fibre fractionation by pressure screening prior to low consistency (LC) refining. The fractionation objective was to separate the long and coarse fibre fraction in order to apply the LC refining only to that fraction, with the hypothesis that this coarser fraction could be LC refined at higher intensity without excessive detrimental fibre length reduction.
The study was conducted with primary HC refined pulp (a mixture of spruce, pine and fir). Four different screen basket designs were evaluated (0.8 mm, 1.0 mm and 1.5 mm hole and 0.15 mm slot), and screen fractionation was carried out under conditions that resulted in a reject consistency of 4% to enable LC refining without additional thickening or dilution stages. The coarse screen reject pulp underwent subsequent LC refining at low and high intensity (0.25 J/m and 0.5 J/m, respectively). LC refined reject fractions at different freeness levels were combined with the screen accept pulp, and the final pulp qualities were compared with the unfractionated LC refined pulps refined at the same intensities, as well as with atmospheric high consistency (HC) refined pulps.
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