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Brodin, F. W., Sonavane, Y., and Theliander, H. (2013). "Preparation of absorbent foam based on softwood kraft pulp: Advancing from gram to kilogram scale," BioRes. 8(2), 2099-2117.


Absorbent foams were produced at both the gram scale and the kilogram scale by treating bleached softwood kraft pulp fibers to TEMPO oxidation, followed by washing, fiber disintegration, and freeze drying. Two reaction temperatures and three different dosages of primary oxidant were evaluated to find suitable oxidation conditions. It was found that the absorption and retention capacities were 50 to 70% lower for kilogram-scale foams than for gram-scale foams. SEM studies showed that the kilogram-scale foams had larger pores than the gram-scale foams; this explains the major differences in absorption and retention. The oxidation treatments performed in both scales resulted in a major increase in the amount of carboxylate groups and a major decrease in DPV, but only minor differences in these factors were found in a comparison between pulps from gram- and kilogram-scale experiments. However, the kilogram-scale dispersing equipment appeared to cause more fiber cutting, while the equipment used in the gram-scale experiments promoted the liberation of microfibrils to a greater extent. Furthermore, in both the gram- and kilogram-scale samples, a high dosage of primary oxidant and a low oxidation temperature were found to maximize the retention of liquid.
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