Applications of selected chemical additives to decrease pulp fibre network strength and their relation to pipeline plug removal in an industrial setting
University of New Brunswick
A common issue in pulp and paper operations is the blockage of pipelines by plugs of compacted fibre networks, resulting in time consuming and costly procedures being employed for plug removal. A laboratory set-up was established and then used to measure the break-up pressure of fibre-based plugs, which provided an indication of the fibre network strength. Selected chemical additives, namely cupriethylenediamine (CED) and cationic polyacrylamide (C-PAM), were investigated to determine their ability to decrease the fibre network strength and therefore decrease the pressure required for plug removal. The results demonstrated that CED can decrease the network strength through partial fibre dissolution while C-PAM reduces network strength through inter-fibre friction reduction. Both chemical additives have potential to be used in the pulp and paper industry for resolving and/or improving issues arising from fibre-based plugs.