Sugar, acid and furfural quantification in a sulphite pulp mill: Feedstock, product and hydrolysate analysis by HPLC/RID
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Waste from pulp and paper mills consist of sugar-rich fractions comprising hemicellulose derivatives and cellulose by-products. A complete characterisation of the waste streams is necessary to study the possibilities of an existing mill. In this work, four chromatographic methods have been developed to obtain the most suitable chromatographic method conditions for measuring woody feedstocks, lignocellulosic hydrolysates and cellulose pulp in sulphite pulping processes. The analysis of major and minor monosaccharides, aliphatic carboxylic acids and furfurals has been optimised. An important drawback of the spent liquors generated after sulphite pulping is their acidic nature, high viscosity and adhesive properties that interfere in the column lifetime. This work recommends both a CHO-782Pb column for the sugar analysis and an SH-1011 resin-based cross-linked gel column to separate low-molecular-weight chain acids, alcohols and furfurals. Such columns resulted in a good separation with long lifetime, wide pH operating range and low fouling issues.