Improved analysis of tube flow fractionation data for measurements in the pulp and paper industry

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Linnanmaa, auditorium TS101, remote connection:

Topic of the dissertation

Improved analysis of tube flow fractionation data for measurements in the pulp and paper industry

Doctoral candidate

Licentiate of Technology Matti Törmänen

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Optoelectronics and Measurement Techniques

Subject of study

Applied electronics


Professor Kai-Erik Peiponen, University of Eastern Finland

Second opponent

Professor Jouko Halttunen, Tampere University


Professor Risto Myllylä, University of Oulu

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Improved accuracy for pulp and nanocellulose measurements

In the dissertation a new method for the analysis of measurement results was invented and implemented. This method is applicable to consistency measurements in the paper and pulp industry and also to the measurements required in nanocellulose manufacturing processes. The measurement method itself is a previously known combination of tube flow fractionation and optical measurement, where the tube flow fractionation separates the pulp sample into different parts which can then be measured as individual fractions. This qualitative separation improves the performance of the optical measurement.

In the production of paper and pulp, measurements play a very important role in terms of process control and product quality control. Nanocellulose products with a wide range of uses have increasingly emerged alongside the traditional paper and board products, one example being the replacement of plastic in the manufacture of liquid board products. Currently known commercial measuring devices are not sufficient to control processes producing and using nanocellulose, and therefore a new measurement technology is needed. Developing better measurement technologies for the production of traditional paper and board products is also necessary from the point of view of both the environment and the economics of production.

The new analysis method provides information on both the quantity and quality of the material being measured. This enables a new kind of consistency measurement that also sees even the small nanocellulose particles invisible under a light microscope. In addition, the method reduces the need to control the temperature and flow rate of tube flow fractionation, thus simplifying the device structure and allowing the measurement to be taken directly from the laboratory to the process.

For the dissertation the new analysis method was applied to the measurements of the paper and pulp industry, but it can also be utilized in other fields as well. The method is likely to be applicable in areas such as medicine, the food industry and environmental technology.
Last updated: 1.3.2023