Cleaning of Water-Soluble Scales in Black Liquor Evaporators – A Modeling Approach
Journal article, 2014
In the pulp and paper industry, the evaporation of black liquor is an important step to recover heat and chemicals. Due to a substantial amount of sodium carbonate and sodium sulfate in the black liquor, evaporators typically have to address the scaling of these water-soluble salts at concentrations above approximately 50% dry solids content. To maintain their operation, the evaporators are cleaned regularly using condensate or weak black liquor. In this paper, a model for evaporator cleaning was developed based on a dissolution model established via experimental measurements. Two new correlations for black liquor were also developed from experimental measurements: the solubility limit of sodium scales in black liquor and the density of black liquor containing additional dissolved salts. The simulations indicate high dissolution rates, meaning that the limiting step for the cleaning is the feed of free water with the wash liquid. The simulation results were insensitive to the distribution of scales, the mass transfer coefficient, and the temperature. However, the results were sensitive to the solubility limit and natural salt content for wash liquors above 30% dry solids content.