The removal of lignin from a high-temperature chemi-thermomechanical pulp (HT-CTMP) using a switchable ionic liquid prepared from an organic superbase (1,8-diazabicyclo-[5.4.0]-undec-7-ene (DBU)), monoethanol amine (MEA), and SO2 was investigated. The objective was to measure the fibre properties before and after removal of the lignin to analyse the contributions from lignin in the HT-CTMP fibre to the tensile properties. It was found that the fibre displacement at break-measured in zero span, which is related to fibre strain at break-was not influenced by the lignin removal in this ionic liquid system when tested dry. There was a small increase in displacement at break and a reduction in tensile strength at zero span when tested after rewetting. At short span, the displacement at break decreased slightly when lignin was removed, while tensile strength was almost unaffected when tested dry. Under rewetted conditions, the displacement at break increased and tensile strength decreased after lignin removal. Nevertheless, no dramatic differences in the pulp properties could be observed. Under the experimental conditions, treatment with the ionic liquid reduced the lignin content from 37.4 to 15.5 wt%.
- ionic liquid