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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter July 18, 2006

The nature of chromophores in high-extractives mechanical pulps: Western red cedar (Thuja plicata Donn) chemithermomechanical pulp (CTMP)

Jeffrey Keating, C. Ingemar Johansson, John N. Saddler and Rodger P. Beatson
From the journal


The utilization of western red cedar mechanical pulp is limited by low brightness caused by a high chromophore content. In this paper we identify these chromophores and provide a possible mechanism for their formation during the mechanical pulping process. Diffuse reflectance ultraviolet (DRUV) and Fourier-transform infrared (DRIFT) spectra were recorded for western red cedar chemimechanical pulp treated with hydrogen peroxide, sodium borohydride and acetic anhydride. Treatment with hydrogen peroxide was conducted over different time periods. The spectra indicate that three carbonyl-containing chromophores contribute to light absorption in the visible region. Two conjugated ortho-quinones contributed most of the color. These quinones were formed by oxidation and polymerization of lignans during the refining process. The third chromophore was coniferaldehyde. There was a large initial time lag for the reaction of peroxide with coniferaldehyde relative to reaction time with the quinones. We ascribe this to differences in topochemistry. It was deduced that coniferaldehyde was mainly associated with lignin in the interior of the fiber wall, whereas the quinones were derived from lignans that had been deposited on the fiber surface. Identification of the three chromophores provides a basis for studies of the kinetics of brightening of western red cedar mechanical pulps.


Corresponding author. British Columbia Institute of Technology, 3700 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, Canada, V5G 3H2


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Published Online: 2006-07-18
Published in Print: 2006-07-01

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