The potential of wheat straw high yield MEA pulp for enhancing strength properties of recycled paper
This study investigated the blending of unbleached wheat straw high yield MEA (monoethanolamine) pulp with recycled pulp to improve the strength properties of recycled pulp. First, the cooking temperature in MEA high yield pulping was stepwise reduced from 160° C to 120°C to enhance pulp yield as much as possible. The optimum temperature for the intended application was 130°C. In the second series of cooking performed at this temperature, the MEA charge was gradually reduced. However, with the reduction of MEA charge, the Kappa number rapidly increased. The solvent recycling was considered in a third series by reusing black liquor two times. The Kappa number increase, due to partial reuse of black liquor, was low, and the pulp strength remained at a high level. A MEA straw pulp, prepared without black liquor reuse, was refined with low energy input to various beating degrees to evaluate the refining behavior and strength development. The MEA straw pulp samples with different beating degrees were blended with recycled pulp. The ratio of blending varied between 5% and 20%. The results revealed that MEA straw pulp was well-suited as a reinforcement pulp. All strength properties of the recycled pulp, except tear strength, were improved.