Abiodun Oluwafemi Oluwadare


Sustainable global fibre supply for pulp and papermaking is becoming more important in the advent of climate change and increased demand for paper and paper products worldwide. This has resulted in alternative search for Non-Wood Fibrous(NWF) raw material to supplement existing supply. In this study, the potential of an indigenous NWF material for papermaking was carried out  to determine its suitability for paper production. Fibre properties and chemical composition were carried out using Franklin’s and Tappi standard methods. An alkaline pulping process namely soda pulping method was used to pulp stalks of Thaumatococcus daniellii obtained from cocoa plantation where it was grown as undergrowth. The resulting pulp was refined in a PFI mill at three levels of revolution and evaluated for pulpsheet properties using Tappi standard methods. The fibre characteristics were generally superior to most hardwoods used for papermaking with average stalk length of 1.53mm±0.18 for young stalk and 2.02±0.26 for mature stalks. Fibre length was 2.66±0.08 and 2.71±0.06mm while Runkel ratio and flexibility on the average were 0.57 and 65% respectively. Lignin and cellulose contents had average value of 13.05% and 39.0% with cellulose:lignin ratio of 2.99. Tear index of unbeaten pulp was 2.23mN.m2/g and decreased with beating revolution. Burst index was 1.36kPa.m2/g for the unbeaten pulp and increased appreciably to 5.56kPa.m2/g. Breaking length increased from 314m  for unbeaten pulp to 573m after beating at 3200 revolution. Based on the findings of this study, the pulp from Thaumatococcus daniellii meet basic requirements of acceptability  and suitability for paper production.

Keywords: Non-wood fibre, fibre dimensions, papermaking potential, pulpsheet properties, Thaumatococcus daniellii


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