Production of Writing and Printing Papers from Woody Petioles of Oil Palm Fronds (Elaeis Guineensis): Determination of Optimum Pulping Conditions using Soda-AQ Process (Published)
Comparative assessment of physico-chemical characteristics, anatomic properties and economic relevance of Oil Palm Fronds (woody petioles) to the pulp and paper industry was investigated. Sample preparation was conducted in accordance with TAPPI Standard T12 – OS – 75, which specifies that samples be grinded to a fine particle size to permeate 0.4mm screen and retained on a 0.6mm screen. The Moisture content, Lignin, Extractives, Alpha cellulose, Ash content and fiber dimensions were investigated. The pulping investigation had four (4) factors at three (3) different levels each: Factor 1, cooking temperature (150, 160 and 170oC) ; Factor 2, cooking time (60, 90 and 120minutes);Factor 3, liquor concentration (10%, 15% and 20% NaOH charge); and Factor 4, anthraquinone concentration (0.00%, 0.25% and 0.50%). The experimental design had 3×3×3×3 i.e., 81 pulping scenarios. Pulping Operation was subsequently carried out by the Soda-AQ Process which resulted in the production of pulp and paper samples. Pulp Yields was in the range of 29% to 47.99% calculated on oven dry (O.D) basis. The resultant pulps obtained from the cooking operation had very good feel, and exhibited fairly bright color, with slightly slow tendency to felt, thereby making drainage and consequent paper making time short. Over-all parameter achieved asserts that oil palm fronds (woody petioles) have a promising future (when used in blend with long fiber pulp) in substituting wood in the pulp, paper and fiber- board industry.