New biological process reduces pulp production damage

13:00 | 21/10/2020 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Vietnamese researchers have developed a process using biological preparations made of isolated fungal strains to remove the sap from hardwood chips to serve environmentally friendly pulp production.

new biological process reduces pulp production damage
Making biological preparations to decompose tree sap

Vietnam’s paper industry accounts for about 1.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) with 2018 export turnover exceeding US$1 billion. With its strong development, the paper industry is one of the country’s key industries.

However, producing high quality paper with little environmental impact poses a challenge. In addition, tree sap not only reduces the purity and quality of finished paper, but also causes damages to machinery.

The more sap is found, the more chemicals are required to wash the wood. The detergents released into the environment pollute the soil and water sources around production zones. According to research by the Institute of Biotechnology under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, the economic damage caused by the sap to pulp production accounts for 1-2 percent of the product prices.

To deal with the issue, the Ministry of Industry and Trade assigned the institute to study biological preparations to decompose tree sap in acacia and eucalyptus wood chips.

According to Dr. Phan Thi Hong Thao, the project manager, biological preparations are expected to decompose and remove more than 50 percent of the tree sap. The project targets industrial scale production of 50kg of preparations per batch to decompose tree sap in raw material chips and it has already used preserved chips in the raw material workshop of the Vietnam Paper Corporation.

After being treated and preserved with the biological preparations, the sap content decreased by 50.85 and 50.61 percent in eucalyptus and acacia wood, respectively. Sap reduction in samples that did not undergo the biological process were 19.91 percent (eucalyptus) and 17.96 percent (acacia).

Reducing the sap content of pulp will reduce the formation of glue in pulp and paper production, protecting the environment from significant damage.

Quynh Nga