Comparative study of guar gum and its cationic derivatives as pre-flocculating polymers for PCC fillers in papermaking applications, TAPPI Journal April 2022

Application: This work aims to identify the flocculation mechanism of PCC with guar gum and its derivatives in order to establish pre-flocculated filler slurries prior to stock addition. The most important contribution from the study is selection of the optimum degree of substitution (DS) value, which is crucial when adopting pre-flocculation technologies that later affect strength of paper and filler retention.     

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Author: Indrasena Ghosh, Chhaya Sharma, and Rita Tandon
Comparative study of guar gum and its cationic derivatives a
ABSTRACT: In this work, gums from guar seeds were evaluated as a potential precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) filler pre-flocculant to induce functional filler in papermaking applications. In recent years, guar has been conidered one of the promising wet-end additives due to its abundance, rich source of hemicellulose content, and bio-degradability. However, application of guar gum in filler pretreatment methods for producing high ash paper has scarcely been reported. In this paper, the flocculating ability of three types of guar gum was established with charge analysis and turbidity (NTU) of the system at 1% and 5% for each gum: native gum (NG) having a degree of substitution (DS) of 0, and cationic gums having a DS value of 0.07 (CL) and 0.15 (CH). It was interesting to observe that even at a 5% dose of G, the charge density of PCC did not deviate much from the initial values. The system carried a weak negativeharge, resulting in an unstable colloidal suspension that led to PCC-PCC particle bridging. On the other hand, the operative mechanism of CL and CH during adsorption and PCC flocculation was predicted to be charge neutralization and electrostatic-patch formation, accompanied by particle bridging. Note that CL, with a maximum 47.5% eduction in residual turbidity of PCC at a 1% dose, was much more efficient in doing so than the other two gums; NG had a 40% maximum reduction in residual turbidity at a 5% dose and CH had a maximum 30% reduction at a 1% ose. Later on, floc formation and structure were correlated with optical and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) images. In the next set of trials, paper properties were determined by varying the different gum dosages from 0.2% to 5% at a constant dose of 20% filler. It is also noteworthy to mention that with 1% CL (low DS) dose, PCC retention increased by 39%, which also enhanced the tensile, tear, burst, and opacity properties by 11%, 19%, 5%, and 4.4%, respectively, without significantly affecting the bulk properties. Further, wide-angle X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis nd Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis revealed that pre-flocculating PCC with a 1% gum dose did not induce any change in crystalline transformation. Based on observation, it was found that cationic gums with low DS values re a better choice for maximizing the strength of paper while maintaining bulk and high opacity when pre-flocculaion is adopted to increase the filler retention in paper.

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