Dissolving pulp
Dissolving pulp is a bleached
Bleaching of wood pulp
Bleaching of wood pulp is the chemical processing carried out on various types of wood pulp to decrease the color of the pulp, so that it becomes whiter. The main use of wood pulp is to make paper where whiteness is an important characteristic...

 wood pulp
Wood pulp
Pulp is a lignocellulosic fibrous material prepared by chemically or mechanically separating cellulose fibres from wood, fibre crops or waste paper. Wood pulp is the most common raw material in papermaking.-History:...

 that has a high cellulose
Cellulose is an organic compound with the formula , a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to over ten thousand β linked D-glucose units....

 content (> 90%). It is produced chemically from the pulpwood
Pulpwood refers to timber with the principal use of making wood pulp for paper production.-Applications:* Trees raised specifically for pulp production account for 16% of world pulp production, old growth forests 9% and second- and third- and more generation forests account for the balance...

, in a process that has a low yield (30 - 35% of the wood). This pulp has special properties, such as a high level of brightness and uniform molecular-weight distribution.


Dissolving pulp is made from the sulfite process
Sulfite process
The sulfite process produces wood pulp which is almost pure cellulose fibers by using various salts of sulfurous acid to extract the lignin from wood chips in large pressure vessels called digesters. The salts used in the pulping process are either sulfites , or bisulfites , depending on the pH...

 or the kraft process
Kraft process
The kraft process describes a technology for conversion of wood into wood pulp consisting of almost pure cellulose fibers...

 with an acid prehydrolysis
Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction during which molecules of water are split into hydrogen cations and hydroxide anions in the process of a chemical mechanism. It is the type of reaction that is used to break down certain polymers, especially those made by condensation polymerization...

 step to remove hemicellulose
A hemicellulose is any of several heteropolymers , such as arabinoxylans, present along with cellulose in almost all plant cell walls. While cellulose is crystalline, strong, and resistant to hydrolysis, hemicellulose has a random, amorphous structure with little strength...


The sulfite process produces pulp with a cellulose content up to 92 percent. It can use ammonium
The ammonium cation is a positively charged polyatomic cation with the chemical formula NH. It is formed by the protonation of ammonia...

, calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

, magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

 or sodium
Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. It is an abundant element that exists in numerous minerals, most commonly as sodium chloride...

 as a base. The prehydrolysis sulfate process produces pulp with a cellulose content up to 96 %.

Special alkaline purification treatments can yield even higher cellulose levels: up to 96 percent for the sulfite process and up to 98 percent for the sulfate process.


Dissolving pulp is used in production of regenerated cellulose
Viscose is a viscous organic liquid used to make rayon and cellophane. Viscose is becoming synonymous with rayon, a soft material commonly used in shirts, shorts, coats, jackets, and other outer wear.-Manufacture:...

. The cellulose is dissolved in an organic solvent and processed to regenerate the cellulose fibres in different forms.

The 90-92 % cellulose content sulfite pulps are used mostly to make textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

s (like rayon
Rayon is a manufactured regenerated cellulose fiber. Because it is produced from naturally occurring polymers, it is neither a truly synthetic fiber nor a natural fiber; it is a semi-synthetic or artificial fiber. Rayon is known by the names viscose rayon and art silk in the textile industry...

) and cellophane
Cellophane is a thin, transparent sheet made of regenerated cellulose. Its low permeability to air, oils, greases, bacteria and water makes it useful for food packaging...

. The 96-% cellulose content sulfate pulps are used to make rayon yarn for industrial products such as tire cord, rayon staple for high-quality fabrics, and various acetate
Cellulose acetate
Cellulose acetate , first prepared in 1865, is the acetate ester of cellulose. Cellulose acetate is used as a film base in photography, as a component in some adhesives, and as a frame material for eyeglasses; it is also used as a synthetic fiber and in the manufacture of cigarette filters and...

 and other specialty products.

As a raw material of cellulose derivatives, dissolving pulp is used in carboxymethyl cellulose
Carboxymethyl cellulose
Carboxymethyl cellulose or cellulose gum is a cellulose derivative with carboxymethyl groups bound to some of the hydroxyl groups of the glucopyranose monomers that make up the cellulose backbone...

 (CMC), methyl cellulose (MC), hydroxypropyl cellulose
Hydroxypropyl cellulose
Hydroxypropyl cellulose is a derivative of cellulose with both water solubility and organic solubility. It is used as a topical ophthalmic protectant and lubricant.-Chemistry:...

 (HPC), hydroxyethyl cellulose
Hydroxyethyl cellulose
Hydroxyethyl cellulose is a gelling and thickening agent derived from cellulose. It is widely used in cosmetics, cleaning solutions, and other household products....

 (HEC), etc.

Since dissolving pulp is highly refined, it is a product of high whiteness with few impurities making it suitable in specialty paper-related products such as filter paper
Filter paper
Filter paper is a semi-permeable paper barrier placed perpendicular to a liquid or air flow. It is used to separate fine solids from liquids or air.-Properties:Filter paper comes in various porosities and grades depending on the applications it is meant for...

 and vulcanized fibre
Vulcanized fibre
Vulcanized fibre is a laminated plastic composed of only cellulose. The material is a tough, resilient, hornlike material that is lighter than aluminium, tougher than leather, stiffer than most thermoplastics...


Cellulose powder is dissolving pulp that has undergone acid hydrolysis
Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction during which molecules of water are split into hydrogen cations and hydroxide anions in the process of a chemical mechanism. It is the type of reaction that is used to break down certain polymers, especially those made by condensation polymerization...

, been mechanically disintegrated and made into fine powder.

This pulp is used as a filler
Filler (materials)
Fillers are particles added to material to lower the consumption of more expensive binder material or to better some properties of the mixtured material...

 for urea-formaldehyde resins and melamine resin
Melamine resin
Melamine resin or melamine formaldehyde is a hard, thermosetting plastic material made from melamine and formaldehyde by polymerization. In its butylated form, it is dissolved in n-butanol and xylene. It is then used to cross-link with alkyd, epoxy, acrylic and polyester resins, used in surface...

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