(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers from the Perm Polytechnic Institute have figured out how to safely and environmentally obtain nitrocellulose from wood raw materials.
Today, many products are made from it: smokeless powder, which is used in auxiliary systems for space rockets and systems for ejection of aircraft seats to rescue pilots, as well as plastics, varnishes, paints and enamels. At the moment, there is no production of cellulose for chemical processing in Russia, and the unique technology of Perm scientists will make it possible to replace foreign raw materials.
According to scientists, nitrocellulose is the main component of solid fuel for space rockets. For national economic purposes, this substance is used to create canals and tunnels and to eliminate ice on large rivers in order to avoid congestion and spills in the adjacent territories. In addition, rockets can be used to control weather conditions and prevent hail.
The results of the research were published by the developers in the journal “Chemistry of Plant Raw Materials” (in print, 2022), a patent was obtained for the technology . The scientific group included three developers, headed by Firdaves Khakimova, Professor of the Department of Polymeric Materials Technology, Propellants of the Perm Polytechnic Institute, Doctor of Technical Sciences.
“Traditional schemes for processing wood pulp, which are used in world practice, provide for the stages of lignin removal and bleaching. For this, explosive and fire hazardous chlorine dioxide is used, which cannot be transported, therefore, special workshops are being built for its production .
We have proposed a technology that does not require high pressure and sophisticated equipment. It meets the modern requirements of economics and ecology, ”says Firdaves Khakimova, professor of the Department of Polymer Materials Technology and Propellants of the Perm Polytechnic Institute, Doctor of Technical Sciences.
Researchers were the first to obtain high-quality raw materials for chemical processing from unbleached pulp, which is now used in paper production. They used the environmentally friendly reagent hydrogen peroxide to remove lignin and safe sodium chlorite for bleaching. With this method, unlike traditional ones, cellulose is not destroyed. In addition, the simplified equipment operates without pressure.
“Our technology does not touch upon the most difficult stage of obtaining cellulose in production – the process of wood cooking. The development will help to achieve double import substitution: cotton raw materials can be replaced with wood, and domestic cellulose for chemical processing will appear in Russia, ”the scientist said. The developers conducted a series of studies to assess the environmental friendliness technology.
To do this, they used samples of unbleached cellulose: hard bisulfite with a high lignin content and soft sulfite with a low proportion of this substance. Scientists have carried out bleaching and refining using proprietary technologies.
Bisulfite cellulose was processed according to ECF-technology (Elemental Chlorine Free), using two oxidizing bleaching agents, and sulfite – according to TCF-technology (Total Chlorine Free) using one oxidizing agent. According to the developers, the quality of the samples meets the accepted standards for cellulose for gunpowder, and the environmental characteristics of wastewater after biological treatment meet the requirements of the European Union.
Scientists note that the technology allows not only to improve the environmental friendliness of the product, but also to save resources by reducing wood consumption.
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