• Feedstocks Analysed at Celignis

Background on Pulp

A pulp mill converts plant fibre (e.g. wood) to a thick fibre board. This board can be used for the production of paper (in paper mills) or for other end uses.

Analysis of Pulp at Celignis

Celignis Analytical can determine the following properties of Pulp samples:

Lignocellulosic Properties of Pulp

Cellulose Content of Pulp

The pulping process invovles the removal of the hemicellulose and lignin components of biomass, leaving mostly cellulose in the remaining material. The extent to which this is achieved will depend on the type and severity of pulping.

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Hemicellulose Content of Pulp

In the kraft pulping process the liquid extract, termed black liquor, will contain the lignin and hemicellulose that have been removed from the biomass.

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Lignin Content of Pulp

A target of the pulping process in a reduction in the lginin content of the biomass.

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Starch Content of Pulp

Starch can be an important constituent in determining paper properties and can be added to achieve the desired effect.

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Uronic Acid Content of Pulp

The uronic acid content and composition of pulp will depend on the pulping process used.

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Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Pulp

We can undertake tests involving the enzymatic hydrolysis of Pulp. In these experiments we can either use a commercial enzyme mix or you can supply your own enzymes. We also offer analysis packages that compare the enzymatic hydrolysis of a pre-treated sample with that of the native original material.

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Bioenergy Properties of Pulp

Ash Content of Pulp

The ash content of the pulp will depend on the conditions and severity of the pulping process.

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Heating (Calorific) Value of Pulp

Lignin has a greater heating value than cellulose, whilst the heating values of hemicellulose and cellulose are similar. Hence, removal of a significant proportion of the lignin fraction of biomass in pulping will result in a lesser heating value for the pulp, compared with the starting biomass feedstock.

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Ash Melting Behaviour of Pulp

Ash melting, also known as ash fusion and ash softening, can lead to slagging, fouling and corrosion in boilers which may reduce conversion efficiency. We can determine the ash melting behaviour of Pulp using our Carbolite CAF G5 BIO ash melting furnace. It can record the following temperatures:

Ash Shrinkage Starting Temperature (SST) - This occurs when the area of the test piece of Pulp ash falls below 95% of the original test piece area.

Ash Deformation Temperature (DT) - The temperature at which the first signs of rounding of the edges of the test piece occurs due to melting.

Ash Hemisphere Temperature (HT) - When the test piece of Pulp ash forms a hemisphere (i.e. the height becomes equal to half the base diameter).

Ash Flow Temperature (FT) - The temperature at which the Pulp ash is spread out over the supporting tile in a layer, the height of which is half of the test piece at the hemisphere temperature.

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Major and Minor Elements in Pulp

Examples of major elements that may be present in Pulp include potassium and sodium which are present in biomass ash in the forms of oxides. These can lead to fouling, ash deposition in the convective section of the boiler. Alkali chlorides can also lead to slagging, the fusion and sintering of ash particles which can lead to deposits on boiler tubes and walls.

We can also determine the levels of 13 different minor elements (such as arsenic, copper, and zinc) that may be present in Pulp.

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Analysis of Pulp for Anaerobic Digestion

Biomethane potential (BMP) of Pulp

At Celignis we can provide you with crucial data on feedstock suitability for AD as well as on the composition of process residues. For example, we can determine the biomethane potential (BMP) of Pulp. The BMP can be considered to be the experimental theoretical maximum amount of methane produced from a feedstock. We moniotor the volume of biogas produced allowing for a cumulative plot over time, accessed via the Celignis Database. Our BMP packages also involve routine analysis of biogas composition (biomethane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, ammonia, oxygen). We also provide detailed analysis of the digestate, the residue that remains after a sample has been digested. Our expertise in lignocellulosic analysis can allow for detailed insight regarding the fate of the different biogenic polymers during digestion.

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Physical Properties of Pulp

Bulk Density of Pulp

At Celignis we can determine the bulk density of biomass samples, including Pulp, according to ISO standard 17828 (2015). This method requires the biomass to be in an appropriate form (chips or powder) for density determination.

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Particle Size of Pulp

Our lab is equipped with a Retsch AS 400 sieve shaker. It can accommodate sieves of up to 40 cm diameter, corresponding to a surface area of 1256 square centimetres. This allows us to determine the particle size distribution of a range of samples, including Pulp, by following European Standard methods EN 15149- 1:2010 and EN 15149-2:2010.

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Publications on Pulp By The Celignis Team

Vodonik M, Vrabec K, Hellwig P, Benndrof D, Sezun M, Gregori A, Gottumukkala L.D, Andersen R.C, Reichel U (2018) Valorisation of deinking sludge as a substrate for lignocellulolytic enzymes production by Pleurotus ostreatus, Journal of Cleaner production 197(1): 253-263

Disposal of waste sludges produced in large amounts in the pulp and paper industry imposes significant environmental and economical problems. One strategy to address these issues involves revalorization of paper mill sludges by their application as substrates for microbial production of biotechnologically relevant enzymes. The application of lignocellulolytic enzymes in paper, textile and bioenergy industries is encouraged in order to decrease chemicals and energy consumptions. In the following work, deinking sludge was assessed as a substrate for production of lignocellulases. Based on the results of growth and activity screenings, Pleurotus ostreatus PLAB was chosen as the most promising candidate among 30 tested strains and its secretome was further studied by quantitative enzyme assays and mass spectrometry. While endoglucanase and xylanase activities detected in P. ostreatus secretome produced on deinking sludge were similar to activities of cultures grown on other lignocellulosic substrates, average laccase activity was significantly higher (46?000 U/kg DIS). Mass spectrometry identification of the most prominent proteins in the secretome of the target strain confirmed that significant amounts of different lignin-modifying oxidases were produced on this substrate despite its low lignin content, indicating the presence of other inducible compounds. The findings of this study suggest deinking sludge may represent a good substrate for fungal production of the aforementioned enzymes with broad biotechnological applications, including bioremediation, paper and bioenergy industries.

Robus C.L.L, Gottumukkala, L.D, Van Rensburg E, Gorgens J.F. (2016) Feasible process development and techno-economic evaluation of paper sludge to bioethanol conversion: South African paper mills scenario, Renewable energy 92: 333-345

Paper sludge samples collected from recycling mills exhibited high ash content in the range of 54.59%65.50% and glucose concentrations between 21.97% and 31.11%. Washing the sludge reduced the total ash content to between 10.7% and 19.31% and increased the concentration of glucose, xylose and lignin. Samples were screened for ethanol production and fed-batch simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) was optimised for the washed samples that resulted in highest and lowest ethanol concentrations. Maximum ethanol concentrations of 57.31 g/L and 47.72 g/L (94.07% and 85.34% of the maximum theoretical yield, respectively) was predicted for high and low fermentative potential samples, respectively, and was experimentally achieved with 1% deviation. A generic set of process conditions were established for the conversion of high ash-containing paper sludge to ethanol. Techno-economic analysis based on three different revenue scenarios, together with Monte Carlo analysis revealed 95% probability of achieving IRR values in excess of 25% at a paper sludge feed rate of 15 t/d. Feed rates of 30 t/d and 50 t/d exhibited a cumulative probability of 100%. This study presents the technical feasibility and economic viability of paper mills expansion towards bioethanol production from paper sludge.

Examples of Other Feedstocks Analysed at Celignis