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Title: Pulp and paper from blue agave waste from tequila production
Author: Idarraga, G.
Ramos, J.
Zuniga, V.
Sahin, T.
Young, R.A.
Issue Date: 1999
Abstract: Pulping of blue agave waste, from the production of tequila, was evaluated by both chemical and biomechanical pulping processes. Two conventional and two organosolv systems were used to pulp the agave waste under a standard set of conditions. The soda-ethanol process was superior in terms of delignification and pulp properties in comparison to the soda and ethanol organosolv processes for pulping of agave waste; however, the kraft process gave the best strength properties. In general, the strength of the agave waste pulps was rather poor in comparison to wood and other agro-based pulps; however, the tear strength was relatively high. This result is typical of poorly bonded sheets and may be due to the coarseness of the agave fibers and/or loss of hemicelluloses in the steaming process for the tequila production. Fungal treatment of the agave waste with Ceriporiopsis subvermispora reduced the energy consumption for mechanical refining but gave biomechanical pulps with inferior strength properties. The blue agave chemical pulps should be suitable for blending with softwood kraft pulps for publication grade paper.
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