Assessing the value of a diversified by-product portfolio to allow for increased production flexibility in pulp mills
Journal article, 2020

This paper presents a model for design optimization of pulp mill steam utility systems subject to variations in energy prices and steam demands. A Scandinavian Kraft pulp mill is used as case study to investigate investment opportunities in lignin extraction and new turbines. The model enables solutions to be identified that are more flexible than the solutions that would have been identified with a corresponding model using, for example, annual average values for key input data. The results from the case study show that lignin extraction has a potential to contribute to flexibility in pulp mill electric power production under certain conditions provided that the mill invests in both lignin extraction and condensing turbine capacity. However, the potential electric power production flexibility will vary over time. In the studied mill, with a capacity increased to around 1.3 million tonnes/a of pulp, it is estimated to vary between 15 and 30 MW. Furthermore, investment in new condensing turbine capacity only seems to be attractive if electricity prices that are considerably higher than the spot prices of recent years are assumed. Such prices may occur if there is a clear value of tradable electricity certificates or if future electricity prices rise significantly.

energy efficiency


electricity generation

lignin extraction

steam utility system


Elin Svensson

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

CIT Industriell Energi AB

Rikard Edland

CIT Industriell Energi AB

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Christian Langner

Energy Technology 3

Simon Harvey

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Nordic Pulp and Paper Research Journal

0283-2631 (ISSN) 2000-0669 (eISSN)

Vol. 35 4 533-558

Flexible process integration solutions for the pulp and paper industry

Södra, 2017-01-01 -- 2019-12-31.

Swedish Energy Agency (42326-1), 2017-01-01 -- 2019-12-31.

Subject Categories

Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology

Chemical Process Engineering

Other Chemistry Topics

Areas of Advance




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