FITNIR Analyzers Inc. launched the latest addition to its suite of process analyzers at the 2015 TAPPI PEERS conference held in Atlanta, Georgia at the end of October. FITNIR Kappa uniquely measures kraft pulp properties without requiring extensive sample preparation or the use of chemicals. The announcement of the analyzer garnered much attention from the kraft pulp producers in attendance at the conference, as kappa number plays a critical role in the efficiency of digester and bleaching operations.
The advancement of NIR spectroscopy has led to the development of an innovative solution for the quantification of true kappa number that steps up where traditional measurement techniques fall short. When combined with FITNIR Benchtop for pulp liquor analysis, a chemical-free laboratory is attainable.
Wet pulp samples are simply washed with water and pressed into a pad, which is then analyzed by the spectrometer within 20 seconds. “FITNIR Kappa provides accurate and reliable measurements without the need for any chemicals,” said Tom Sands, President, FITNIR Analyzers. “This translates into savings ranging from $150,000 to $250,000 per year. In addition to minimizing environmental impact and the risks of hazardous chemicals, this is a significant advantage for our customers.”
Procurement applications and final product testing is also now possible. “FITNIR Kappa is the first of its kind to directly measure kappa number on dry pulp sheets without the use of chemicals, yet can provide rapid, reliable and accurate results,” explains Thanh Trung, VP of Technology. “The data from FITNIR Kappa lends itself to process optimization, ensuring the target product quality is reached and maintained.”
These uses are only the tip of the iceberg for this versatile technology. Applications are already available for Air Dry (AD) content, while many other possible parameters for improving product quality are in development. FITNIR Kappa represents a paradigm shift in how pulp properties measurement is done. Its simplicity reduces operator-to-operator variability, while providing faster, more accurate results for improved efficiency and profitability.