Formic acid pulping process of rice straw for manufacturing of cellulosic fibers with silica, TAPPI Journal August 2021

Application: This research work provides a suitable pulping process for rice straw that can convert high silica in rice straw from a liability to an asset for the pulp and paper industry. The silica remaining in pulp provides high opacity and better bonding in paper.

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Author: Akhouri Sanjay Kumar Sinha
Formic acid pulping process of rice straw for manufacturing
ABSTRACT: Emerging technology has the potential to develop entirely new approaches for producing cellulose fiber-based materials along with fuels and chemical raw materials like lignin and furfural. Rice straw is a rich source of cellulosic fibers and inorganic micronic-sized particles termed as ash. They can prove helpful in development of new or enhanced agricultural residue-based materials and products that offer cost effective substitutes for nonrenewable materials used in different domestic and industrial applications. Lignocellulose is an abundant material that is submicronic at the basic level. Rice straw is a fibrous lignocellulosic material obtained as agricultural residue, but it differs from most crop residues in its high content of silicon dioxide (SiO2). Ash content on a dry weight basis ranges from 13% to 20%, varying according to the state of conservation of the straw after harvest. The ash in rice straw has nearly 75% SiO2. The particle size analysis shows variation from a few microns to hundreds of microns for inorganic residues left after burning at high temperatures above 550°C. Proximate analysis of rice straw shows that it contains 54% to 56% holocellulose and 15% to 18% lignin, both of which are natural biopolymers. The compound analysis shows the different compounds present in rice straw ash.Rice straw is available in hundreds of million tons in India and other Asian countries, so suitable technologies are required to convert rice straw from a biomass waste to useful bioproducts like pulp, paper, and paperboard. This research paper is intended to obtain pulp with fibers having inherent silica present in it to give high opacity paper and better bonding between fibers.

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