The Potential Of Cymbopogon Nardus In The Production Of Pulp For Paper Industry
As environment related climatic changes have become national and international challenges, possible sources of vital human needs, paper inclusive must be looked for from alternative extraordinary sources that offer less adverse impact on the environment.Non-wood materials such as (citronella) donít have immediate beneficial applications in many communities.Since itcontains cellulose in form of fibres, it stands to be potential sources for pulp for paper industry with less/ no environmental degradation threat. The objective of this research study wasto evaluate the use of Cymbopogon nardus as raw material for pulp and paper industry.This involved characterisation of the raw materials, identifying the appropriate pulping techniques and conditions as well as characterisation and evaluation of the pulp and paper made. The chemical characterisation of raw materialswas done using the Norman and Jenkinsís methods as well as the standard TAPPI methods.Soda and Kraft pulping techniques were studiedat varied Temperature and chemical chargesin order to identify the appropriate method and conditions.The Cymbopogon nardus was identifiedwith high hollocellulose (68.51%), α-Cellulose (35.00%), low ethanol-benzene extractives (5.14%), ash content (3.66%), moderate lignin Content (27.38%), cold water extractives (15.00%), hot water extractives (20.00%) and 1% NaOH Extractives (25.99%). The pre-bleached pulp yield of 42.82% at a kappa number of 24.4was achieved with soda pulping at chemical charge of 25% NaOH, a temperature of 160 oC and a cooking time of one hour. And pre-bleached yield of 45.79% at a kappa number of 31.2 was achieved with Kraft pulping at 30 % sulphidity, 20% active alkalis, temperature of 160oC and a cooking time of one hour.Cymbopogon nardus pulp was characterised with moderate weighted average fibre length (0.771mm), moderate fibre width (14.4 μm), slenderness ratio (51.67), and brightness (69.65 %); and the paper sheets with a tear index (6.44m Nm2/g). The chemical composition, yield and physical properties of pulp and paper from Cymbopogon nardus are closer to those of other non-wood agricultural crop materials. Cymbopogon nardus stands a potential source of pulp for paper industry.
Keywords- Cymbopogon nardus, pulping, pre-bleached pulp yield, and kappa number