Ailanthus altissima: an alternative fiber source for papermaking.
This work aims at studying the potential of Ailanthus altissima as a raw material for papermaking. For this purpose, trees of two age groups (2 and 25 years) were studied in terms of wood density and chemical composition. The latter was evaluated at different height levels in the tree. Selected wood samples were submitted to kraft cooking under different operating conditions, namely effective alkali charges, in order to evaluate their pulping potential. The best screened pulp yield was close to 49% (w/w) and was obtained from the 2 years old trees. Ailanthus pulps were subsequently beaten using a PFImill at 500, 1500, and 3000 revolutions. An industrial bleached Eucalyptus globulus kraft pulp was used as reference. Both pulps and papers were fully characterized in terms of morphological and physical properties. The results showed that the properties of the paper obtained from ailanthus are close to those of the reference ones.