Energy Analysis for Conversion of a Kraft Pulp Mill into a Dissolving Pulp Mill
Paper in proceedings, 2012
Currently, kraft pulp mills in Europe and North America are facing several challenges and have been forced to think along new products and new business areas. One opportunity is the conversion of chemical pulp mills into dissolving pulp mills by extracting hemicellulose prior to digesting via pre-hydrolysis. From the extracted wood chips, the more valuable dissolving pulp can be produced whereas the hydrolysate can be upgraded to high-value products. In this paper, pinch analysis is used to evaluate the consequences in the energy balance and utility system of a kraft mill converted into dissolving pulp production as well as to identify the potential for heat integration within the host mill itself, between the host mill and the pre-hydrolysis unit and with a hemicellulose upgrading process. The results show that proper heat integration within the host mill itself, and between the host mill and the pre-hydrolysis unit gives significant amounts of surplus steam which could be exported to a hemicelluloses upgrading process, used for power generation or to facilitate lignin extraction.