4-O-methylglucuronoxylans isolated from Eucalyptus grandis and Eucalyptus urophylla kraft black liquors (KBLs) were chemically characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), size exclusion chromatography (SEC), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Doses of alkali charge, expressed as active alkali (AA), were 16, 17, and 18% while the sulfidity was kept at 25%. Kappa numbers of 19.1, 17.5, and 16.1 for E. grandis and 20.4, 16.8, and 15.4 for E. urophylla were obtained. At higher alkali charges, the recovery of xylans from the KBLs was lower and the degree of substitution of xylans with uronic acids decreased. The average molecular weight (Mw) of the recovered xylans was greater under conditions of mild pulping, i.e., in the case of pulps with higher kappa numbers. Mw of xylans ranged from 16.1 to 19.1 kDa for E. grandis and from 15.4 to 20.4 kDa for E. urophylla. The xylans from KBL may be useful as pulp modifying agents or as a raw material for advanced applications.
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