Application of statistical multivariate techniques to wood quality data.
Sappi is one of the leading producer and supplier of Eucalyptus pulp to the world market. It is also a great contributor to South Africa economy in terms of employment opportunity to the rural people through its large plantation and export earnings. Pulp mills production of quality wood pulp is mainly affected by the supply of non uniform raw material namely Eucalyptus tree supply from various plantations. Improvement in quality of the pulp depends directly on the improvement on the quality of the raw materials. Knowing factors which affect the pulp quality is important for tree breeders. Thus, the main objective of this research is first to determine which of the anatomical, chemical and pulp properties of wood are significant factors that affect pulp properties namely viscosity, brightness and yield. Secondly the study will also investigate the effect of the difference in plantation location and site quality, trees age and species type difference on viscosity, brightness and yield of wood pulp. In order to meet the above mentioned objectives, data for this research was obtained from Sappi’s P186 trial and other two published reports from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Principal component analysis, cluster analysis, multiple regression analysis and multivariate linear regression analysis were used. These statistical analysis methods were used to carry out mean comparison of pulp quality measurements based on viscosity, brightness and yield of trees of different age, location, site quality and hybrid type and the results indicate that these four factors (age, location, site quality and hybrid type) and some anatomical and chemical measurements (fibre lumen diameter, kappa number, total hemicelluloses and total lignin) have significant effect on pulp quality measurements.