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Hemp Hurds as Paper-Making Material
United States Department of Agriculture, Bulletin No. 404

written by "Merrill, Jason L."
...work of this nature and on this scale it is practically impossible to arrive at a cost figure which would be susceptible of commercial interpretation, and in this preliminary publication nothing will be attempted beyond a comparison of the process used with the hurds with that process commercially applied to poplar wood. The process last used with the hurds should not be regarded as final, satisfactory, or most suitable, as it has been shown that progress was being made up to the conclusion of the work. In comparing the method of using hurds with the method of handling poplar wood, a difference is apparent on the delivery of raw material at the mill. Ordinarily, poplar is received at the mill in the form of logs about 4 feet in length, which may be stored in piles in the open. Hurds very likely would be received baled, and it would seem advisable to store them under cover for the following reasons: (a) Baled hurds would probably absorb and retain more water during wet weather than logs of wood, thereby causing excessive dilution of the caustic liquor; (b) prolonged excessive dampness might create heating and deterioration unless the hemp were properly retted; (c) wet hurds could not be sieved free from sand and chaff. Should further work show that the first two reasons need not be taken into consideration, the third objection might be overcome by sieving the hurds before baling. Even then, it is probable that baled hurds stored in the open would accumulate and retain considerable dirt from factory chimneys, locomotives, and wind. Checked pulp wood exposed in the open invariably suffers from these causes. In the preparation of the raw material for the digesters there is likewise considerable difference between hurds and poplar wood. The former apparently requires only a moderate sieving to remove sand and chaff, which operation doubtless would require only a small amount of labor and the installation of some simple machinery of low ...

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