WARF: P07307US

Efficient Method for Pretreating Lignocellulosic Materials to Produce Paper with Improved Properties


William Kenealy, Eric Horn, Masood Akhtar, Ross Swaney

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in a more efficient method for producing high quality pulp for paper manufacturing.
OVERVIEWTo make paper from wood, wood first must be transformed into pulp. However, current pulping techniques require high amounts of energy or large quantities of wood and can result in poor quality paper.

The inventors previously developed an efficient method for producing pulp from wood chips by pretreating the chips with oxalic acid and sodium bisulfate (see WARF reference number P00342US). This processing step required little time and improved both the economics of the pulping process and the properties of the finished paper product.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers now have improved their previous technology by using derivatives of oxalic acid, preferably diethyloxalate (liquid) and dimethyloxalate (solid). These derivatives work better than oxalic acid in the pulping process.  They can be added to the wood chips as dry components and then treated with steam.
  • Paper manufacturing
  • Reduces energy consumption in generating thermomechanical pulp
  • Improves paper strength and optical properties
  • Reduces the amount of chemicals needed for chemical pulping
  • Sugars can be extracted before or after the refining process and used to create additional value-added products.
  • In contrast to oxalic acid, which works best when applied as a solution in water, these derivatives can be applied as dry components.
  • Process is suitable for materials including hardwoods, softwood chips, recovered paper or agricultural residues.
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jennifer Gottwald at or 608-960-9854.
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