Cellulose | 2021
Locust bean gum adsorption onto softwood kraft pulp fibres: isotherms, kinetics and paper strength
The adsorption of locust bean gum (LBG) onto Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft (NBSK) pulp improved paper tensile and burst strength and lowered refining energy by strengthening inter-fibre bonding. Adsorption kinetics and isotherms were investigated to develop a fundamental understanding of the adsorption mechanism. The adsorption rate followed pseudo-second-order kinetics and the activation energy was 99.34 kJ·mol−1, suggesting chemisorption. The adsorption rate constant increased rapidly with temperature from 25 to 45 °C (k\u2009=\u20091.93 to 24.03 g·mg−1·min−1), but the amount adsorbed at equilibrium decreased (qe\u2009=\u20091.91 to 0.48 mg·g−1 o.d. fibre). LBG adsorption to NBSK at 25 °C was consistent with the Langmuir adsorption model for LBG\u2009<\u20092.1 wt% of o.d. fibre, suggesting reversible, homogenous adsorption to a finite number of sites on the fibre surface. Refining to 3000 rev increased the heterogeneity of the NBSK pulp surface leading to multi-layer Freundlich adsorption with adsorption constant n\u2009=\u20095.00, and the equilibrium constant Kf\u2009=\u20092.57 mg·g−1·(mg·L−1)−1/n at 25 °C. Favorable adsorption conditions for negatively charged LBG were identified: 25 °C for 10 min, low dosage level (<\u20092 wt%), lightly refined (<\u20093000 rev) NBSK pulp at low fibre consistency (<\u20090.5 wt%), high agitation rate (>\u2009150 r.p.m.), acidic or neutral conditions (pH 2–7) without salt addition.