Recently, a new type of bleaching sequence, Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) light with one D stage, has been developed. It combines the efficiency and high selectivity of chlorine dioxide (ClO2) bleaching with more environmental friendly oxygen based bleaching chemicals. This work examines the effect of pH on the formation of adsorbable organically bound halogens (AOX) in an intermediate D stage – a single ClO2 stage at the middle of an ECF light bleaching sequence. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is used to generate a bicarbonate buffer in situ, stabilizing the pH during the bleaching. Near-neutral pH is hypothesized to decrease the formation of strongly chlorinating species, so that the AOX formation is reduced. The results indicate that a near-neutral pH D stage can reduce the AOX content in the effluents with up to 30%. The ISO brightness was unchanged to a lower ClO2 consumption. The pulp viscosity was slightly higher after near-neutral pH D stage, but to its disadvantage a lesser delignification and removal of HexA was obtained. The degradation of HexA correlated well with the AOX, affirming earlier theories that HexA has a major impact on the AOX formation. The higher amounts of residual HexA and lignin resulted in more thermal yellowing of the pulps bleached with a near-neutral pH D stage.
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Corresponding author: Sara Starrsjö, SCA R&D Centre, Sidsjövägen 2, 851 21, Sundsvall, Sweden; Department of Fiber and Polymer Chemistry, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Teknikringen 56-58, 100 44, Stockholm, Sweden; and Department of Chemical Engineering, Mid Sweden University, Holmgatan 10, 851 70, Sundsvall, Sweden, E-mail:
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