Efficiencies of NaOH production methods in a Kraft pulp mill
Journal article, 2009
There are several processes in a Kraft pulp mill where there is a need for sodium hydroxide, e.g. in the digester and the bleaching plant. The objective of this study is to perform a preliminary evaluation, intended to select the best alternative for producing sodium hydroxide on a Kraft pulp mill site. The first step of the evaluation consists of screening available processes for producing sodium hydroxide needed in the mill. The first step of the evaluation shows that the two best options for increasing the production of sodium hydroxide for internal use in a mill are the conventional lime cycle process or direct causticization with titanates. The second step of the evaluation compares the lime cycle and the titanate process using first and second law analyses to determine the energy requirement and the exergy efficiencies of both processes. Such analyses show a higher energy requirement and a lower exergy efficiency in the titanate process than in the lime cycle process without any heat integration. However, the titanate process shows better performance in terms of energy requirement and exergy efficiency than the lime cycle, if heat is integrated into both processes. The titanate process requires, in the best case, only 80% of the energy required for a fully heat-integrated lime cycle process. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.