Development of Sustainable Cellulose-Based Tissue Materials Using an Innovative Experimental and Computational Methodology


In recent years, the tissue industry has been exposed to several challenges related to the growing demand for high-quality materials and sustainability. An approach that combined experimental and computational planning was implemented and presented in this work. For this purpose, a simulator that established relationships between the key fibre properties, the process steps that modify them, and the functional properties, named the SimTissue, was developed and validated. Different scenarios and a summary of the SimTissue research strategy are presented. The experimental planning design consisted of examining the influence of refining, enzymatic treatment, and incorporation of additives such as micro / nanofibrillated cellulose and biopolymers. The correlations between these tissue process inputs, and the softness, strength and absorption properties were established using the SimTissue. Overall, the SimTissue predicted and optimized several case studies for the management and optimization of sustainability formulations.

Keywords: 3D computational simulation, cellulose-based materials, furnish optimization, tissue materials

[1] de Assis T, Reisinger LW, Pal L, Pawlak J, Jameel H, Gonzalez RW. Understanding the effect of machine technology and cellulosic fibers on tissue properties – A review. BioResources. 2018;13(2):4593-4629.

[2] Tissue Word Magazine. Growth in the European tissue business moving from West to East. 2014, March 13. Available from: tissue-business-moving-from-west-to-east/

[3] The Navigator Company. Sustainability policy. 2021. Available from: Policy

[4] Gotera ZFJ. Developing and understanding state-of-the-art technologies at nanoand macroscales to enhance fiber utilization in the hygiene tissue industry [Ph.D. thesis]. Raleigh: North Carolina State University (NCSU); 2021.

[5] Tissue World Magazine. Eucalyptus – Adding tensile strength and keeping formation and softness. 2020, December 3. Available from: strength-and-keeping-formation-and-softness/

[6] Morais FP, Bértolo RAC, Curto JMR, Amaral MECC, Carta AMMS, Evtyugin DV. Comparative characterization of eucalyptus fibers and softwood fibers for tissue papers application. Materials Letter. 2019;10(4):100028.

[7] Morais FP, Bértolo RAC, Curto JMR, Amaral MECC, Carta AMMS, Evtyugin DV. Characterization data of pulp fibres performance in tissue papers applications. Data in Brief. 2020;29:105253.

[8] Morais FP, Carta AMMS, Amaral ME, Curto JMRC. Experimental 3D fibre data for tissue papers applications. Data in Brief. 2020;30:105479.

[9] Morais FP, Carta AMMS, Amaral ME, Curto JMRC. 3D Fiber models to simulate and optimize tissue materials. BioResources. 2020;15(4):8833-8848. 8848

[10] Morais FP, Carta AMMS, Amaral ME, Curto JMRC. Cellulose fiber enzymatic modification to improve the softness, strength, and absorption properties of tissue papers. BioResources. 2021;16(1):846-861. 861

[11] Morais FP, Carta AMMS, Amaral ME, Curto JMRC. Micro/nano fibrillated cellulose (MFC/NFC) fibers as an additive to maximize eucalyptus fibers on tissue paper production. Cellulose. 2021;28(4):6587-6605. 021039129

[12] Morais FP, Carta AMMS, Amaral ME, Curto JMRC. An innovative computational strategy to optimize different furnish compositions of tissue materials using micro/nanofibrillated cellulose and biopolymer as additives. Polymers. 2021;13(15):2397.

[13] Ramezani O, Nazhad MM. The effect of coarseness on paper formation. African Pulp and Paper Week; 2004.

[14] Alava M, Niskanen K. The physics of paper. Reports on Progress in Physics. 2006;69(3):669-723.

[15] Conceição ELT, Curto JMR, Simões RMS, Portugal ATG. Computational modeling of objects represented in images. Barneva RP, Brimkov VE, Hauptman HA, Natal Jorge RM, Tavares JM, editors. Heidelberg: Springer; 2010.

[16] Curto JMR, Conceição ELT, Portugal ATG, Simões RMS. Three dimensional modelling of fibrous materials and experimental validation. Materialwissenschaft und Werkstofftechnik. 2011;42(5):370-374.

[17] Lavrykov S, Lindström SB, Singh KM, Ramarao BV. 3D network simulations of paper structure. Nordic Pulp and Paper Research Journal. 2012;27:256-263.

[18] Raunio J-P, Ritala R. Simulation of creping pattern in tissue paper. Nordic Pulp and Paper Research Journal. 2012;27:375-381. 27-02-p375-381.

[19] Simon J-W. A review of recent trends and challenges in computational modeling of paper and paperboard at different scales. Archives of Computational Methods in Engineering. 2021;28:2409-2428.

[20] Curto JR, Vieira JC, Morais FP et al. Embossing influence on the 3D structure and key properties of tissue paper. Paper presented at: Proceedings of the XXV TECNICELPA Conferência Internacional da Floresta, Pasta e Papel XI CIADICYP 2021; 2021 Mar 9-12; WebConference, Tomar, Portugal.

[21] Morais FP, Curto JMR. Challenges in Computational Materials Modelling and Simulation. A case-study to predict tissue paper properties. Heliyon. 2022;8(5):e09356.