About TAPPI Journal

An internationally recognized technical publication for over 60 years, TAPPI Journal (TJ) publishes the latest and most relevant research on the forest products and related industries in digital format. A stringent peer-review process and distinguished editorial board of academic and industry experts set TAPPI Journal apart as a reliable source for impactful basic and applied research and technical reviews. TAPPI Journal is now Open Access. Read more.

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Guest Editorial: Research and development in the post COVID-19 era, TAPPI Journal June 2021

June 01, 2021

Science and technology occupy prominent roles in solving global problems. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of science regarding decision-making, saving lives, and safeguarding the environment. While information technology (IT) and IT-based tools have garnered much needed attention in the past few decades, other areas such as manufacturing engineering, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals are finding their right places in gaining public and political support and attention--thanks to COVID-19! Such public attention has highlighted vulnerabilities due to lack of investments in manufacturing and materials engineering, as well as the need for strategic investments in these areas.

Rethinking the paper cup — beginning with extrusion process optimizationfor compostability and recyc

June 01, 2021

ABSTRACT: More than 50 billion disposable paper cups used for cold and hot beverages are sold within the United States each year. Most of the cups are coated with a thin layer of plastic — low density polyethylene (LDPE) — to prevent leaking and staining. While the paper in these cups is both recyclable and compostable, the LDPE coat-ing is neither. In recycling a paper cup, the paper is separated from the plastic lining. The paper is sent to be recycled and the plastic lining is typically sent to landfill. In an industrial composting environment, the paper and lining can be composted together if the lining is made from compostable materials. Coating paper cups with a compostable performance material uniquely allows for used cups to be processed by either recycling or composting, thus creating multiple pathways for these products to flow through a circular economy.A segment of the paper converting industry frequently uses an extrusion grade of polylactic acid (PLA) for zero-waste venues and for municipalities with ordinances for local composting and food service items. The results among these early adopters reveal process inefficiencies that elevate manufacturing costs while increasing scrap and generally lowering output when using PLA for extrusion coating. NatureWorks and Sung An Machinery (SAM) North America researched the extrusion coating process utilizing the incumbent polymer (LDPE) and PLA. The trademarked Ingeo 1102 is a new, compostable, and bio-based PLA grade that is specifically designed for the extrusion coating process. The research team identified the optimum process parameters for new, dedicated PLA extrusion coating lines. The team also identified changes to existing LDPE extrusion lines that processors can make today to improve output.The key finding is that LDPE and PLA are significantly different polymers and that processing them on the same equipment without modification of systems and/or setpoints can be the root cause of inefficiencies. These polymers each have unique processing requirements with inverse responses. Fine tuning existing systems may improve over-all output for the biopolymer without capital investment, and this study showed an increase in line speed of 130% by making these adjustments. However, the researchers found that highest productivity can be achieved by specifying new systems for PLA. A line speed increase to more than 180% and a reduction in coat weight to 8.6 µm (10.6 g/m2 or 6.5 lb/3000 ft2) was achieved in this study. These results show that Ingeo 1102 could be used as a paper coating beyond cups.

A guide to eliminating baggy webs, TAPPI Journal June 2021

June 01, 2021

ABSTRACT: Slack or baggy webs can cause misregistration, wrinkles, and breaks in printing and converting operations. Bagginess appears as non-uniform tautness in the cross direction (CD) of a paper web. The underlying cause is uneven CD tension profiles, for which there are few remedies once the paper is made. Precision measurements of CD tension profiles combined with trials on commercial paper machines have shown that uniform CD distribution of moisture, basis weight, and caliper profiles at the reel are key to avoiding bagginess. However, the most important but infrequently measured factor is the CD moisture profile entering the dryer section. Wetter areas entering the dryers are permanently elongated more than dry areas, leading to greater slackness in the finished paper. In storage, wound-in tension can amplify baggy streaks in paper near the surface of a roll and adjacent to the core. Unwrapped or poorly wrapped rolls exposed to low humidity environments may have baggy centers caused by moisture loss from the roll edges.All of the factors that impact bagginess have been incorporated in a mathematical model that was used to interpret the observations from commercial trials and can be used as a guide to solve future problems.

Probing the molecular weights of sweetgum and pine kraft lignin fractions, TAPPI Journal June 2021

June 01, 2021

ABSTRACT: The present investigation undertook a systematic investigation of the molecular weight (MW) of kraft lignins throughout the pulping process to establish a correlation between MW and lignin recovery at different extents of the kraft pulping process. The evaluation of MW is crucial for lignin characterization and utilization, since it is known to influence the kinetics of lignin reactivity and its resultant physico-chemical properties. Sweetgum and pine lignins precipitated from black liquor at different pHs (9.5 and 2.5) and different extents of kraft pulping (30–150 min) were the subject of this effort. Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) was used to determine the number average molecular weight (Mn), mass average molecular weight (Mw), and polydispersity of the lignin samples. It was shown that the MW of lignins from both feedstocks follow gel degradation theory; that is, at the onset of the kraft pulping process low molecular weight-lignins were obtained, and as pulping progressed, the molecular weight peaked and subsequently decreased. An important finding was that acetobromination was shown to be a more effective derivatization technique for carbohydrates containing lignins than acetylation, the technique typically used for derivatization of lignin.

Rheological behavior of magnetic pulp fiber suspensions, TAPPI Journal June 2021

June 01, 2021

ABSTRACT: This paper is focused on the rheology of magnetic pulp suspensions in absence and presence of an external magnetic field. Magnetic fibers were prepared by the lumen loading method using bleached eucalyptus fibers and cobalt ferrite (CoFe2O4) nanoparticles. The effect of mass consistency, temperature, concentration of magnetic fibers, and magnetic field strength on yield stress and apparent viscosity of the suspensions were investigated. In the absence of an applied field, a dependence of yield stress with consistency, as well as with the percentage of magnetic fibers present in the suspension, was found. In flow tests, all the suspensions exhibited shear-thinning behavior, showing that the viscosity is only affected by the consistency of the suspension. On the other hand, magnetorheological measurements show a negative effect of the applied magnetic field on the viscosity of the suspension.

New learnings and strategies for meeting future recovery boiler particulate emission limits with existing electrostatic precipitators, TAPPI Journal June 2021

June 01, 2021

ABSTRACT: It is foreseeable that recovery boiler particulate emission limits in the United States and Canada will continue to get more stringent with time. Because of this, continued improvement of emission control equipment, as well as a better understanding of how operating parameters affect performance, are necessary. Although electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) are often viewed as a mature technology, many improvements in ESP technology continue to be developed. In recent years, academic efforts have improved the understanding of recovery boiler operating conditions on ESP performance. Additionally, advancements in materials, power supplies, and design continue to improve the efficiency and reliability of ESPs.This paper discusses how recovery boiler and electrostatic precipitator (ESP) operating factors affect ESP perfor-mance based on process simulations and practical experience, and how these learnings can be implemented to improve future operation of existing ESPs.