Combustion properties of reduced-lignin black liquors
Journal article, 2014
The growing interest in production of green chemicals and biofuels from biomass provides an incentive for pulp mills to identify new possibilities in recovering more wood components from the pulping process. One possibility is to use lignin, separated from black liquor. We undertook this work to determine the combustion properties of reduced-lignin black liquors-two kraft liquors and one soda liquor-in a laboratory-scale, single-particle furnace. The combustion times, maximum swollen volume, nitric oxide formation, cyanate formation, and sulfur release were measured for the original liquors, the filtrates, and intermediate levels of lignin reduction. Combustion experiments were conducted at 900 degrees C in 10% oxygen. Cyanate formation experiments were carried out by pyrolyzing the droplets at 800 degrees C in 100% nitrogen to form a char. The chars were then gasified at 800 degrees C in a 13% carbon dioxide/87% nitrogen atmosphere to obtain the smelt. Sulfur release was studied by pyrolyzing the samples at temperatures ranging from 300 degrees C to 900 degrees C. Liquors with the lowest lignin content had a smaller maximum swollen volume than the original sample. The devolatilization time was not affected by the lignin removal to any great extent, but lignin removal did have a clear effect on the char burning time. The amount of formed nitric oxide (g N/kg black liquor solids) remained constant or decreased slightly with increasing lignin removal in the kraft liquor samples, while for the soda samples the amount of nitric oxide formed increased. The amount of cyanate decreased clearly when comparing the samples with lowest lignin content to the original liquor samples. The peak sulfur release occurred at 500 degrees C for both kraft liquors. In almost all experiments, the share of sulfur released was highest for the original samples and lowest for the sample with lowest lignin content. These results provide new data on combustion properties for reduced-lignin black liquors and indicate that for lignin removal levels up to about 20%, no significant changes are expected in the combustion behavior. Application: This work will help mills identify the effect of lignin precipitation on combustion properties of black liquor.