keywords: Cellulose, chemical characterization, non-wood fibers, paper making, pulp
The use of wood pulp for paper making and other varieties of products for industrial applications has been on the increase in recent times. Non-wood materials and other agricultural residues are being exploited as alternative sources in the production of pulp to reduce deforestation arising from wood pulp. The chemical characterization and Kraft pulping of Bambusa vulgaris have been investigated in this study. Bamboo culms obtained from the University of Lagos were analyzed for their chemical properties using both TAPPI and ASTM standards. The results of the analyses showed that B. vulgaris contains 1.90% ash, 5.83% extractives, 49.59% alpha cellulose, 21.99% hemicellulose, 20.39% lignin content. 1% sodium hydroxide solubility was found to be 26.50%and hot water solubility was found to be 4.70%. The bamboo chips with the moisture content of 14% were subjected to Kraft pulping at 25% sulphidity and 20% effective alkali for 5 h at temperature range of 140 to 160oC. These pulping conditions gave Kraft pulp of 51.19% with kappa number of 14.5. Treatment of the pulp with hydrogen peroxide at a pulp consistency of 4.30% at 50 to 60oC for 3 h gave a bleached pulp yield of 64.33%.