Mini-Encyclopedia of Papermaking Wet-End Chemistry
Part Three: Equipment & Unit Operations


The word "saponification" implies conversion of something into its corresponding soap form, i.e. the sodium salt of an acid. Rosin acid emulsion products may become saponified if they are allowed to remain in contact with stock for a long time, as in the case of poor first-pass retention. Saponification reactions are favored by increasing pH, temperature, and time. Many components of wood pitch may become saponified under alkaline papermaking conditions. Even the nonionic triglyceride portion of wood pitch can be saponified, especially at very high pH or in the presence of enzymes. Components of pitch that have no ester groups or carboxylic acid groups are known as "unsaponifiables."

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This page is maintained by Martin hubbe, Associate Professor of Wood and Paper Science, NC State University, .