Potential Use of Green Alga Ulva sp. for Papermaking

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Aguado, Roberto
Castelló, Rocío
Tijero, Antonio
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The large amount of cellulose found in Ulva sp. and its low percentage of lignin-like compounds make it an interesting raw material for partially substituting wood pulp to produce pulp and paper. This work shows the suitability of mild chemical treatments for papermaking using residual biomass from this green seaweed, harvested on the beaches, in order to give it added value. A chemical characterization was used to determine ethanol-benzene, hot water, and 1% soda extractives, ash content, holocellulose, α-cellulose, and acid-insoluble material. Cellulose extraction was performed with low proportions of soda and hydrogen peroxide, and it was subjected to a refining step. A design of experiments was used to explain the influence of soda (6%, 8%, and 10%) and hydrogen peroxide (2%, 4%, and 6%) based on oven-dry weight, plus refining (1000 PFI revolutions, 3000 PFI revolutions, and 5000 PFI revolutions). The results showed that to attain good paper strength, it is advisable to operate at maximum alkali charge, minimum peroxide concentration, and refine to a high degree.
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BioResources, vol 4, nº 3, p. 6851-6862.
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