Q.1036:  What makes cellulose fiber suitable for papermaking?

Ans. The following techno-economical reason make cellulose fiber suitable for paper making.  Cellulose The DNA of Paper

  • Economical
  1. Cellulose fiber is main constituent of all plant material. Plants are renewable source and available abundantly in nature.
  2. Papermaker don't need prime parts of tree/plant to make paper. Wood scrap, saw  mill waste, agricultural residue, straw, grasses and/or rag are acceptable source of virgin fiber.
  3. Cellulose fiber is reusable/ recyclable to any extent.
  4. Cellulose fiber is bio-degradable.
  • Technical
  1. Lignin, which cement/ glue individual fibers in plant is physically and chemically weaker than cellulose fiber, making separation of fiber possible by mechanical and or chemical means.
  2. Cellulose fiber is made of multilayer of very small thread like structure called fibrils. These fibrils can be exposed by beating/ refining of fibers and provide very large area for bonding.
  3. The most important characteristic of fiber which make it suitable for papermaking is that cellulose fiber develop physical and chemical bonding with other fibers when it change from wet to dry condition.
  4. High tensile strength
  5. Suppleness (Flexibility, conformability)
  6. Water insoluble
  7. Hydrophilic
  8. Chemically stable
  9. Relatively colorless (White)

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