Parchment-Like Paper Using Water Hyacinth Pulp
Erlinda L. Mari
Forest Products Research and Development Institute
Department of Science and Technology
Water hyacinth pulps, obtained by open-vessel cooking of fresh, air-dried, and ground water hyacinth stems, were mixed with abaca and wastepaper pulps to form handsheets. The handsheets had natural glaze and those from pure hyacinth pulps were fairly translucent, with Cobb values of 38-40 g/m2 that compare well with commercial parchment paper. Compared with either pure abaca or pure wastepaper pulp, replacement with water hyacinth pulp by 25-75% significantly improved burst index and tensile index, suggesting better formation and bonding of fibers. Inversely, however, any amount of the soft and short-fibered hyacinth pulp with either pulp reduced tear index, understandably because this property is dependent more on fiber length. With wastepaper pulp, water hyacinth pulp improves the tensile property to a level comparable with that of paper from abaca pulp as well as parchment paper.
Local studies on the pulp and papermaking potential of water hyacinth conducted in the late seventies (Zerrudo et al. 1978, 1979) followed the conventional method of pulping at high temperature and pressure using steam-heated closed digesters. Results of these studies concluded that depithed water hyacinth stalks may be pulped satisfactorily by any conventional process but the low pulp yields and low initial freeness of the pulp negate its use for ordinary paper. However, the high water resistance, non-porous, and oil-proof properties of the paper produced suggest that water hyacinth pulps may be used for specialty papers such as the parchment type of papers. Much earlier references cited by the authors also mention similar results. . . . . . . . . . . . .
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