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One industrial softwood Kraft black liquor was heat-treated (at 175 °C and 190 °C for 15-60 min) together with laboratory-made soda-AQ (wheat straw and reed canary grass) and Kraft (reed canary grass) black liquors (at 190 °C for 30 min). The feedstock black liquors were characterized with respect to their polysaccharide (mainly xylem) and aliphatic carboxylic acid contents before and after the heat treatments. It was noted that, due to the higher amount of polysaccharides in the non-wood black liquors (8.2-16.6% of d.s) compared to that in the softwood black liquor (1.4% of d.s), the heat treatment in the former case resulted in a 5-30% increase in the amount of aliphatic acids formed by various alkali-catalyzed degradation reactions of the liquor polysaccharides. In addition, in each case detailed gas chromatographic studies revealed that as a general trend the content of higher-molecular-mass acids decreased on heating with the subsequent increase in the content of lower-molecular-mass acids.
PAPER REVISED: 2004-08-27
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2004-09-16
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