Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 30, pp 23488–23497 | Cite as

Improvement in rice straw pulp bleaching effluent quality by incorporating oxygen delignification stage prior to elemental chlorine-free bleaching

  • Daljeet Kaur
  • Nishi K. Bhardwaj
  • Rajesh Kumar Lohchab
Research Article


Environmental degradation by industrial and other developmental activities is alarming for imperative environmental management by process advancements of production. Pulp and paper mills are now focusing on using nonwood-based raw materials to protect forest resources. In present study, rice straw was utilized for pulp production as it is easily and abundantly available as well as rich in carbohydrates (cellulose and hemicelluloses). Soda-anthraquinone method was used for pulp production as it is widely accepted for agro residues. Bleaching process during paper production is the chief source of wastewater generation. The chlorophenolic compounds generated during bleaching are highly toxic, mutagenic, and bioaccumulative in nature. The objectives of study were to use oxygen delignification (ODL) stage prior to elemental chlorine-free (ECF) bleaching to reduce wastewater load and to study its impact on bleached pulp characteristics. ODL stage prior to ECF bleaching improved the optical properties of pulp in comparison to only ECF bleaching. When ODL stage was incorporated prior to bleaching, the tensile index and folding endurance of the pulp were found to be 56.6 ± 1.5 Nm/g and 140, respectively, very high in comparison to ECF alone. A potential reduction of 51, 57, 43, and 53% in BOD3, COD, color, and AOX, respectively was observed on adding the ODL stage compared to ECF only. Generation of chlorophenolic compounds was reduced significantly. Incorporation of ODL stage prior to bleaching was found to be highly promising for reducing the toxicity of bleaching effluents and may lead to better management of nearby water resources.

Graphical abstract


Bleaching Chlorophenol Delignification Rice straw Wastewater 



The authors acknowledge the Ministry of Minority Affairs (India) and University Grants Commission (India) for providing the financial support under Maulana Azad National Fellowship for Minority Students. First author is also highly thankful to the Director, Avantha Centre for Industrial Research and Development, for allowing to carry out research work, and also the Department of Environmental Science and Engg, Guru Jambeshwar University of Science and Technology, Hisar (India).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daljeet Kaur
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nishi K. Bhardwaj
    • 1
  • Rajesh Kumar Lohchab
    • 2
  1. 1.Avantha Centre for Industrial Research & DevelopmentYamunanagarIndia
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Science & EngineeringGuru Jambheshwar University of Science & TechnologyHisarIndia

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