Yuhui Qian

Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Forest Resources


Barry S. Goodell

Second Committee Member

Joseph M. Genco

Third Committee Member

Jody Jellison


This work is aimed at improving our current knowledge of the non-enzymatic inecl~anisins involved in brown-rot decay, as well as the exploration of potential applications of a brown-rot mimetic model system in paper recycling processes. The study was divided into two parts. The first part focussed on the chemical mechanisms involved in chelation and reduction of iron by a low molecular weight chelator (isolated from the brown-rot fungus Gloeophyllz~m tmbeum) and its model compound 2,3- dihydroxybenzoic acid (2,3-DHBA). Chelation as well as free radical generation mediated by this system were studied by ESR measurement. The results indicate that the effects of the chelator/iron ratio, the pH, and other reaction parameters on hydroxyl radical generation by a Fenton type system could be determined using ESR spin-trapping techniques. The results also support the hypothesis that superoxide radicals are involved in the chelator-mediated Fenton process. In the second part of the study, the effect of a chelator-mediated Fenton system for the improvement of deinking efficiency and the n~odification of fiber and paper properties was studied. For the deinking study, copy paper was laser printed with an identical standard pattern. Then repulping and flotation operations were performed to remove ink particles. Under properly controlled deinking conditions, the chelator mediated treatment (CMT) resulted in a reduction in dirt count over that of conventional deinking procedures with no significant loss of pulp strength. To study the effect of the chelator system treatment on the quality of pulp with different fines content, a fully bleached hardwood kraft pulp was beaten to different freeness levels and treated with the chelator-mediated free radical system. The result shows that virgin fiber and heavily beaten fiber respond differently to the free radical treatment. Unbeaten fibers become more flexible and easier to collapse after free radical treatment, while beaten fibers show a reduction in fines and small materials after mild free radical treatment.