UBC Undergraduate Research

Testing the influence of both surfactant addition and refining treatment on the efficacy of the Xylanase enzyme for xylan removal in bamboo pulp Saville, Christine Kimberely


Methods for reducing chemical consumption associated with the removal of hemicellulose from lignocellulosic materials, and pulp brightening, for the production of dissolving pulps are explored. The use of the enzyme xylanase enhanced with the addition of surfactants has been shown to reduce hemicellulose in plant materials by breaking down xylan, a component of hemicellulose [10]. The addition of the enzyme xylanase has also been shown to aid in the bleaching process by reducing the amount of bleaching agents required [2]. But because refining pulp has been determined to release xylan through mechanical action, which is naturally trapped in the pores of the cell wall [4], this study aims to find the effects of the addition of Tween 80 (a non-ionic surfactant) and Bio-Terge AS-40 (an anionic surfactant) with xylanase (DP 407) when added to both refined and unrefined pulps. This study finds that refining the pulp had the greatest outcome for xylan removal and the addition of Tween 80 had no effect for additional xylan removal. Bio-Terge AS-40 had a negative impact on xylan removal for both refined and unrefined pulp. Refined pulp with the addition of xylanase and 1% (by weight of oven dried pulp) of Tween 80 had the greatest effect for pulp brightening. The brightness was increased from 39.95% ISO to 42.76% ISO. This same sample also showed the greatest improvement for whiteness, increasing from 79.65% to 81.13%. The addition of Tween 80 to the treated refined pulp also saw the greatest reduction in redness and yellowness.

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