Application Note: Ash and Moisture Analysis with prepASH® 340 Series for wood, pulp, paper and paperboard

The organisations TAPPI* and ASTM** do have standards for the ash and moisture analysis of paper*

*TAPPI is the leading association for the worldwide pulp, paper, packaging, and converting industries and publisher of Paper360°. Through information exchange, trusted content, and networking opportunities, TAPPI helps members elevate their performance by providing solutions that lead to better, faster, and more cost effective ways of doing business. **ASTM International (ASTM), originally known as the
American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international standards organisation that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services.

Tappi T211: ashing at 525 °C
Tappi T413: ashing at 900° C (recommended for paper with filler)

Methods for combustion at temperatures other than that of TAPPI T 211 or T 413 are published. These may give different results, based on present loading material.

ASTM D 586: A: Ash Content Upon Ignition at 525°C
B: Ash Content Upon Ignition at 900°C.

In prepASH, determination of the moisture should be at 105 °C, ash at 525 °C and ash at 900 °C which can be done with one single weigh-in-automated calculation of losses and residues on chosen base. Automation of the moisture and ash analysis brings efficiency, quality and security into the laboratory. The ash content of the sample may consist of:

  1. Various residues from chemicals used in its manufacturing process
  2. Metallic matter from piping and machinery
  3. Mineral matter in the pulp from which the paper was made
  4. Filling, coating, pigmenting and/or other added materials

(1) The combustion of cellulose to form volatile combustion products occurs at about 300°C. For papers or pulp containing no added fillers or coatings, ignition at either 525°C or 900°C will yield essentially identical results of a few tenths percent ash or less. Examples of such papers include “ashless” filter papers manufactured for chemical analysis, or dissolving grade pulps.

(2) For samples containing fillers, coatings or pigments which undergo negligible change in weight upon ignition of either 525°C or 900°C, such as the oxides of silicon or titanium, and where other fillers, coatings or pigments are known to be absent, ignition at either temperature may be taken as a semiquantitative measure of the percentage of such material present in the sample.

(3) In most cases, the ash content of paper and paperboard will contain inorganic residues from the pulp, inorganic residues from paper making chemicals, and loading or filling materials deliberately added. In such cases, the significance of the ash level determined will vary depending upon which ashing temperature is used and the identity of the materials added.

(4) For papers containing only cellulose and calcium carbonate, ignition at 525°C will remove cellulose, and moisture, but will leave as ash the calcium carbonate essentially intact. Ignition at 900°C will convert the calcium carbonate to calcium oxide. In such cases, these methods may be used in conjunction to provide a good estimate of added calcium carbonate levels.

Moisture and ash analysis for paper and pulp

prepASH – Optimal Solution to Determine Ash

Reduced time and effort: prepASH is a fully automatic drying and ashing equipment, so no multiple weighing back after time consuming cooling down in the desiccator but automatic calculation of results. Working in groups of similar samples in a single run will increase efficiency and optimise time of analysis.

Improved safety and efficiency: No more dangerous analysis with the open flame. With prepASH, analysis can be done in time slots unused or hardly ever used, e.g. at night.

Increased quality: Up to 20% of each ash determination has to be re-analysed because of faulty/undefined results. prepASH is highly repeatable and reliable!

Detailed analysis reports: Due to the permanent recording of measurements during the entire process and the automatic saving of the final results, all data is retrievable at any moment.

Standard Method with OvenVs.prepASH
Weighing before burning off crucibles for consistencyPossibility to pre-define “burning off”crucibles
Measuring tare of crucible one by oneAUTOMATIC PROCEDURE
Weighing + documentation of each crucibleDry MatterAUTOMATIC + sample addition by operator
Samples in drying oven + STARTSTART PROGRAM
Removing samples from oven + cool downRESULTS (moisture)
Back weighing samples, calculation (moisture)
Pre-ashing with rapid incinerator or hot plateRESULTS (ash)
Samples in muffle furnace
Removing samples + cooling down in exicatorASH
Calculation and documentation (ash)
Back weighing for stable results (repeat?)

Download Application Note

You can download the complete Application Note: Ash and Moisture Analysis with prepASH 340 for pulp, wood, paper and paperboard

Series 340 | TGA

Precisa Series 340 TGA

If you would like to find out more about TGA Analysis we have a excellent range of Thermogravimetric Analysers that could accommodate your needs on our website. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch, someone from our team will be happy to assist you.

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