Dewatering Behavior of a Wood-Cellulose Nanofibril Particulate System
Publication Name: Scientific Reports
Publication URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-51177-x
The novel use of aqueous suspensions of cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) as an adhesive/binder in lignocellulosic-based composite manufacture requires the removal of a considerable amount of water from the furnish during processing, necessitating thorough understanding of the dewatering behavior referred to as contact dewatering. The dewatering behavior of a wood-CNF particulate system (wet furnish) was studied through pressure filtration tests, centrifugation, and characterization of hard-to-remove (HR) water, i.e. moisture content in the wet furnish at the transition between constant rate part and the falling rate part of evaporative change in mass from an isothermal thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The effect of wood particle size thereby particle specific surface area on the dewatering performance of wet furnish was investigated. Permeability coefficients of wet furnish during pressure filtration experiments were also determined based on Darcys law for volumetric flow through a porous medium. Results revealed that specific particle surface area has a significant effect on the dewatering of wet furnish where dewatering rate significantly increased at higher specific particle surface area levels. While the permeability of the systems decreased over time in almost all cases, the most significant portion of dewatering occurred at very early stages of dewatering (less than 200?seconds) leading to a considerable increase in instantaneous dewatering when CNF particles come in contact with wood particles.