Paper pulp is added to a stain solution. The stain solution and pulp fibers are mixed to form a slurry. Samples are removed from the slurry and are admixed with dilution water and a bleach. Then, the fibers are moved into a flow cell where they are subjected to a light source adapted to stimulate fluorescence from the stained pulp fiber. Before the fiber slurry enters the flow cell it is mixed with a dilution water of bleach to reduce background fluorescence. The fluorescent light is collimated and directed through a dichroic filter onto a fluorescence splitting dichroic filter.
This invention was funded with government support under Contract Number DE-FC07-97-ID13539 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. government may have certain rights in this invention.