Production of cellulose pulp from agribusiness waste: experimental analysis of factors affecting the characteristics of pulp for absorbent purposes

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Liziane da Luz Seben Scheffler
Istefani Carisio de Paula
Samanta Viana
Elaine Aparecida Regiani de Campos


Sustainable production is a recurrent theme in industrial engineering. Commercial production of canned palm hearts generates an amount of waste from the leaf sheaths that envelop the heart of palm, which can be used to produce cellulose pulp then reducing environmental impacts. This study aims to examine the feasibility of cellulose pulping from King Palm leaf sheaths to obtain a fiber with absorbent capacity and low residual lignin content, as well as demonstrate the influence of the controllable process factors on the response variables analyzed through the formulation of n-dimensional equations and surfaces which permitted the optimization of the variables of interest. The response variables were selected in order to characterize the fiber obtained according to degree of delignification, absorption capability and speed and apparent density. The results indicated that the pulps obtained from the processes proposed although didn’t meet the quality standards required for absorbent pulps, since values are lower than those established in the research hypotheses, is very promising. This attempt raises the discussion around the role that industrial engineering professionals and researchers may play in the agribusiness waste recovery and recycling. Moreover it provides useful information for re-planning of experiments in search for extraction optimization of this or similar agribusiness wastes.


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Author Biographies

Liziane da Luz Seben Scheffler, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

Undergraduation in Chemical Engineering (2008), she holds a Master degree in Industrial Engineering with emphasis in Quality Systems (2011) by the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS). Participated in the Laboratory for Optimization of Products and Processes (LOPP / UFRGS), with focus on sustainable product development. As a chemical engineer, she has experience in the area of Chemical Engineering Industrial Processes, mainly in the areas of quality management and environmental management. In the academic area she has experience as a professor of environmental engineering and Industrial Engineering.

Istefani Carisio de Paula, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

She is Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering and Transportation at UFRGS. She is part of the undergraduate and postgraduate courses at PPGEP / UFRGS. She is member of the Laboratory for Optimization of Products and Process LOPP / UFRGS, in addition to research groups linked to DEPROT and DEG (Department of Graphic Expression of UFRGS). He is a founding member of LIFE (Laboratory of Innovation and Digital Manufacture of the School of Engineering). Her research areas include strategic management of the product development process and sustainability; Social projects, systemic view of product design and creativity.

Samanta Viana, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

She is Business Consultant at TOTVS S.A. She has publications in periodicals, international conferences and participated in a patent on sustainability with Pulping process from the use of the sheaths of Palmeira Real de Australia (Archontophoenix alexandrae) by UFRGS - 2015. She is trainee at the Gerdau S.A Organization in the management of the Mechanical Transformation of Special Steel area for 2 years. She has worked as a Scientific Initiation Scholar at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul for 2 years. He has experience in Industrial Engineering, mainly in the following subjects: sustainability, focus group, A3 thinking, Lean Thinking and learning cycles.

Elaine Aparecida Regiani de Campos, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

She holds Master degree in Industrial Engineering at the Federal Technological University of Paraná, Ponta Grossa Campus, Research Group: (EORE) Organizational Engineering and Business Networks (2016). She is specialist in Strategic Management of People by the State University of the Western Center, UNICENTRO (2013). Undergraduation in Business Administration with emphasis in Business Management at Campo Real College (2011). She is a PhD student in Industrial Engineering at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.


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