Mini-Encyclopedia of Papermaking Wet-End
Part Two: Definitions and Concepts
Hydrogen bonding is one of the primary mechanisms by which papermaking fibers adhere to each other in the dry state. This is possible because cellulose and hemicellulose, two of the main components of papermaking fibers, are covered with hydroxyl groups. The oxygen atoms in these groups are able to hydrogen bond to hydrogen atoms on adjacent fibers or water molecules. Drying of paper causes some fiber-to-fiber hydrogen bonds to take the place of fiber-to-water hydrogen bonds. Recycling of paper is relatively easy because addition of water reverses this process. Hydrogen bonds have only about 5% of the energy content of a covalent bond.
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