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Research article2005Peer reviewed

Ultrastructure of commercial recycled pulp fibers for the production of packaging paper

Brandstrom J, Joseleau JP, Cochaux A, Giraud-Telme N, Ruel K


Transmission electron microscopy was used to investigate the ultrastructure of recycled pulp fibers originating from a household collection plant and intended for the production of packaging paper. Three recovered paper grades and recycling processes, including pulping, screening, cleaning and refining, were assessed with emphasis on surface and internal fibrillation as well as xylan localization. Results showed a large heterogeneity with respect to fiber ultrastructure within and between the grades. Screening and cleaning steps had no detectable effects, but refining clearly increased cell-wall delamination and surface fibrillation. Immunolabeling of xylans showed that they were distributed rather evenly across the cell walls. They were also present on fines. Two different mechanisms for fiber delamination and surface fibrillation were found, one which implies that internal and external fibrillation take place simultaneously across the cell wall, and another which implies successive peeling of layers or sub-layers from the outside towards the inside. It is suggested that recycled fibers of chemical pulp origin undergo the former mechanism and recycled fibers that contain lignin binding the cell wall matrix give rise to the latter peeling mechanism. Because several recycled fibers were severely delaminated and almost fractured, we suggest that to produce a good packaging paper, it is important that recycled pulp should contain a significant proportion of fibers with high intrinsic strength

Published in

2005, Volume: 59, number: 6, pages: 675-680

      SLU Authors

    • Brändström, Jonas

      • Department of Forest Products, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication identifier


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