Optimizing Lodgepole Pine Submerchantable Log Thermomechanical Pulp

Gary C. Myers

Abstract


To restore and maintain ecosystem health and function in the western interior of the United States, many small-diameter stems need to be removed from densely stocked stands. These stems are considered nonusable or underutilized (good, economical uses need to be developed). As of now, the most logical use for the small-diameter resource is pulp. In this study, thermomechanical pulps (TMP) were prepared and evaluated from lodgepole pine submerchantable logs, utilizing different preparation procedures to show that mechanical pulping is a viable option for utilizing this small-diameter resource. Compared with TMP prepared from sawmill residue chips, the unscreened submerchantable log TMP used less electrical energy, retained more of the original fiber length, but had slightly lower physical and optical properties. Wood handling and debarking costs of the submerchantable log resource might be higher because of the small diameters.

Keywords


Lodgepole pine;small diameter;mechanical pulping;thermomechanical pulping (TMP);pulp properties;paper properties

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