On today's Steam Culture episode, Brent talks about how steam is used to bend wood. Bending wood is used for many different applications such as furniture making, decorative pieces, and ship building.
Today on Steam Culture, Brent shows us how steam continues to aid in the paper making process by drying the wood pulp that becomes paper.
Last week we discussed using wood pulp to produce paper products and its byproduct, black liquor. Just like coffee fuels us up on a Monday morning, black liquor fuels the paper-making process.
If you remember from last week, black liquor is created when cellulose fiber and lignin is separated from the wood chips. Wood pulp mills have used black liquor as an energy source since the 1930s.
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.
Thanks for tuning into part 2 of the Steam Wood Kiln episode. If you missed part 1 of the Steam Wood Kiln, check it out here.
On today's Steam Culture, we are learning how steam is used to dry lumber for cabinets and hardwood flooring. Our friend Tom Thompson from Salem Hardwood gives us a tour of his operation, and demonstrates how steam is used to dry lumber and prepare it for the next cycle of life.
In order for the wood to dry the lumber is placed inside a kiln, then it's exposed to indirect steam heat of 160-190 degrees for up to 70 hours until dry. Salem Hardwood dries Red Oak, White Oak, Ash, Hickory, Walnut and Poplar.