Flow characteristics of drag-reducing natural bamboo fiber suspensions with minimal environmental load, TAPPI Journal September 2019

Application: High-aspect-ratio bamboo fibers show excellent drag reduction at low concentrations relative to wood pulp fibers, good recoverability by mechanical filtering and recyclability, and long-term mechanical robustness.

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Picture of the productFlow characteristics of drag-reducing natural bamboo fiber s
ABSTRACT: The reduction of pipe friction loss by adding drag-reducing agents has attracted attention as an aid to energy conservation. Drag-reducing agents induce drag reduction (DR) effects and should have a minimal environmental load, with natural resource-saving potential. This study demonstrates bamboo fiber as a drag-reducing agent that saves natural resources and has a low environmental load. Using pressure drop measurements, we report DR with suspensions of bamboo fibers with the average diameter of 13.3 µm and aspect ratio of 98.7. The maximum DR obtained in this experiment is 43% at the concentration of 4000 ppm and pipe diameter of 30 mm; DR is affected by the Reynolds number, suspension concentration, and pipe diameter. In addition, the bamboo fibers can be easily removed from the suspensions by filtration. We found that low-environmental-load bamboo fiber has DR effects like those of other fibers; its effects are greater than those of conventional synthetic fibers and wood pulp. Furthermore, it is resistant to mechanical degradation, recoverable, and recyclable. Therefore, DR effects can be selectively obtained by adding the fibers only when DR is needed; the fibers can then be collected when DR is no longer necessary. This method might greatly expand the application range of DR agents. The results demonstrate the usefulness of bamboo fibers as DR additives.

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