Lumberjack Brent joins us on this episode of Steam Culture. Today, we take a look at how lumber, or "raw wood," is broken down from wood chips using steam, and eventually into wood pulp for paper products. The wood chip is made up of three main elements: water, cellulose fiber, and lignin.
The wood pulp is made by placing the wood chips into a digester, much like a pressure cooker, with water and white liquor. High-pressure steam, around 340-350 degrees, is placed in the vessel. The high-pressure steam forces the white liquor into the wood chips and the cellulose fiber is separated from the lignin. You are then left with a pulpy consistency and black liquor, which is then put into processing to produce paper products.
So, what's black liquor? You will have to wait until next week to find out! Be sure to tune in next time to see how the steam effects the black liquor and how it's used.
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