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Raghu Deshpande's research studies on sulfite and sulfate cooking

06/12/2017

Since spring this year Raghu Deshpande works as a postdoc at MoRe in association with KTH. The aim of this two-year project is to accumulate new knowledge regarding how cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin are bound to each other after cooking as compared to their native bonds in the wood. The project partners are MoRe, KTH, Kempe Foundations, Domsjö Fabriker, Metsä Board Husum and Processum.

In December 2016 Raghu Deshpande defended his doctor’s thesis, “The initial phase of sodium sulfite pulping of softwood-A comparison of different pulping options” at Karlstad University. It was a co-operation between MoRe Research, Domsjö Fabriker and Karlstad University VIPP, concerning cooking studies of sodium bisulfite and acid sulfite respectively. The project focused on one stage as well as two stage sulfite cooking for production of dissolving pulp. The results were interesting enough to be turned into a postdoc.

“I am very pleased that I can carry on with my research,” says Raghu Deshpande. “Research is a never-ending story” where the results of one study give rise to questions for the next one. If we can understand how lignin is bound to the pulp, cooking parameters can be varied for optimal results.”

“The aim of this project is to have an increased understanding of the technical importance of covalent bonds between lignin and polysaccharides during sulfite cooking, sulfate cooking and bleaching. This concerns dissolving pulps in particular and the specific pulping and bleaching treatment for dissolving pulp production. The lignin-carbohydrate complex will be studied in this postdoc in order to get new knowledge regarding how cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin are bound to each other after cooking when compared to their native bonds in the wood.”

“The first year of my project focuses on sulfite cooking and second year on sulfate cooking. The cooking trials will be mainly carried out in the MoRe pilot digester and studies at KTH,” says Raghu Deshpande.