Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Paper Science and Engineering
The pulp and paper industry is showing an increasing amount of interest in the use of nonwood fiber sources for the production of paper. Research is being performed that involves the use of kenaf which is a nonwood fiber source that is grown in warm climates. The outer portion of kenaf, the bast, consists of long fibers similar to softwood fibers and the inner portion, the core, consists of short fibers similar to hardwood fibers. Paper properties that result by the use of kenaf pulp are similar to those of softwood and hardwood.
Once fiber is continuously reused as recycling becomes more popular, its quality is reduced which affects grades such as corrugating medium that contain this fiber in large percentages. Stronger virgin fiber may be needed as a replacement for hardwood, which is typically mixed with secondary fiber, in corrugating medium. Kenaf fiber could serve this purpose.
In this experiment, a mixture of 20% kenaf core and 80% bast fiber was pulped using sodium carbonate. The pulps were then refined to 300 mL CSF. Handsheets were made from this fiber and tested for strength properties. The strongest pulps were mixed with OCC different ratios and handsheets were then made from these mixtures. It has been determined that the addition of kenaf increases corrugating medium strength properties.
Lechlitner, Jennifer A., "Feasibility of Sodium Carbonate Pulping of Kenaf for Corrugating Medium" (1997). Paper Engineering Senior Theses. 301.