Sonic Technology for Enhanced Agricultural By-Products
A novel low frequency (<100 Hz) sonochemical reactor is proposed for accelerating the conversion of agricultural residues into a bleached pulp suitable for making fine writing paper. This reactor technology uses agitation produces by a mechanical transducer that radiates high levels of acoustic energy, enhancing mass transport and fiber disaggregation in the chemical pulping of agricultural residues. The intense acoustic energy pulses are the driving force for micromixing and pumping of reagent into the straw fiber. In Phase I of the project, this method of agitation was demonstrated to accelerate oxygen delignification of medium consistency kraft softwood brownstock pulp without damaging the fibers. In addition, work was completed that successfully demonstrated the feasibility of the agitation for the pulping of wheat straw. Current agri-pulping reactor technology is unsuitable for producing fibers for fine papermaking because consistently high yields of easily bleached pulp cannot be obtained. The reactor technology will be combined with an existing chemistry that is successfully employed in converting agricultural cereal grain straw into bleached pulp for manufacture of fine writing paper. The chemical technology developer is teaming with Montec Research to develop a substantially improved process technology at the pilot scale for economically converting straw into valuable bleached pulp.
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1901 South Franklin Street Butte, MT 59701
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