How are mixers used in the pulp and paper industry?

Pulp and paper is a big money-making industry, with demand continuing to grow day by day. How does raw wood become paper and products made from paper, and what is the function of mixers within the ever-growing industry?

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How does raw wood become a paper product?

It is easy to forget when we write on paper that the sheets once made up part of a tree. The process involved in producing paper products is equally fascinating. It is conservationists who ensure the preservation of forests across our nation, carefully managing the forests and replanting to maintain a reliable supply of raw materials for the important paper industry whilst making sure that our forests remain for future generations.

How does kraft pulping work?

The next step is to cut down and transport whole trunks to the paper mill, where the bark is removed by powerful jets or by placing the log into a rotating drum. The wood is then placed into the chipper, with any large chips discarded. The reason for a consistent approach to the size of the wood chips is that the diameter is vital in how well and how quickly the chemicals are absorbed.

After pressure cooking the wood chips, chemicals are added to break down the material and turn it into pulp. The expensive chemicals are later extracted, as are knots or fibres that have not been not fully cooked, before the pulp is bleached. It is at this stage that the wood finally begins to resemble the white product we know as paper. The process described is called kraft pulping, which is the most common in the industry.

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The role of industrial mixers

Industrial mixers are used at almost every stage in the manufacturing of paper. There are a range of tools required in the process, from small lab stirrers to inline static mixers to enormous tank mixers. With so many specific roles to fulfil, it is important to choose the right mixers for the job. These are available from manufacturers such as

The mixing can be of solids, gases or liquids; however, the main purpose of industrial mixers is to mix pulp streams and chemicals. Powerful and well-designed machines are therefore key to the quality of the end product.