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Pulping process of Agave americana L. fresh leaves

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par afef tlili
Sousse, institut supérieur agronomique Chott-Mariem - ingénieur d'état 2007

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3- Results and discussion

Pulp physical properties

Agave pulp presents a high number of anomalies. Heterogeneity of Alfa pulp is precisely detected by a photovolt. Clients are so demanding towards homogeneity, with Alfa pulp;7 noncooked ,


Bertrand A. (1959) plantes grasses autres que les cactées. Deuxième édition revue te corrigée, la maison rustique : librairie Agricole, Horticole, Forestière et Ménagère : 53-60.Lock, 1962.

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Cuénod A, Pottie G., Labbe A . (1954) flore de la Tunisie; cryptogames vasculaires, Gymnospermes et Monocotylédones : 234.

Han J.S. and J.S.Rowell (1995) chemical composition of fibers, paper and composites from agrobased resources, Rowell, Young, and Rowel , eds, CRC Press, Inc.

Lock G.W. (1962) thirty years's sisal research in Tanzania Longmans, Breen and Coltd.

Msahli (2002) étude du potentiel textile des fibres d'Agave Americana L., thèse pour l'obtention du titre de Docteur en sciences d'ingénieur an ENSITM.

Pfaffli I, Sisco M., (1995). fiber Atlas Identification of Papermarketing Fibers. Springer: 290-299.

SNCPA (2007) rapoort mensuel de la société nationale de cellulose et de papier Alfa Kasserine, Tunisie.

Tlili A. (2007) Caractérisation de l'Agave americana L. et étude de sa transformation en pâte à papier. Projet de fin d'études pour l'obtention du diplôme d'ingénieur d'état. Institut supérieur agronomique Chott-Mariem, Juin 2007.

Within time, paper becomes resistant to aging, discolour, tear and decomposition due to several degradation agents as humidity or bacterial attacks.

The Agave pulp is so ready to give considerable paper quantities. It is even more efficient than Alfa pulp.

The Agave pulp humidity is about 5.59% which is less than Alfa one 12.91%. The humidity influences on pulp efficiency. It informs about special precautions to take during storing to avoid natural or bacterial degradation by manipulating the optimal storage duration and controlling the storage atmosphere parameters as humidity, aeration and temperature. It also helps the determination of precise drying duration of paper pulp while its preparation for industrial uses.

With fewer humidity rate, the Agave pulp is so more fit to storing and has less drying time which allows more efficiency.

At 24°C, pH of

Tableau 1: pH pf Alfa and Agave pulp


















It is recommended to keep the pulp pH near to neutrality in order to diminish its degradation and get a better response to chemical addicts. The Agave pulp is so well apt to paper manufacturing.

The pulp contains 0.7% of mineral ashes so much fewer than Alfa one 1.35%. Ashes are no more than mineral residues that affects the stability of paper characterises. Macroelements are the more harmful as does silice for Alfa pulp. The paper surface becomes softless and inappropriate to writing; the pen passing leaves some perforations. This problem disturbs within impression, it leaves shining spots that doesn't respond to coloration which leads to the product rejection. For other designations paper as filters, ashes can cause pores collusion. Since an important amount of ashes bring down the pulp, such few rate of Agave pulp makes it convincible.

The average á-cellulose rate of Agave pulp is about 87% more than Alfa one (83.7%). Technically, the most reliable term in paper industry is á-cellulose. It translates the pulp aptitude to interventions to come since it reveals its physical and mechanical characterises as opacity, handiness and wetness. The pulp is much suitable to chemical manipulations (whitening and coloration) with higher á-cellulose contain. So, Agave's pulp is considered as a reliable paper production potential.

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