Evaluation of sodium salt scaling in black liquor evaporators using existing process data
Journal article, 2020

Scaling caused by sodium carbonate and sodium sulphate salts is a common problem during black liquor evaporation and mills currently have no proper tools to monitor or follow it up. The method proposed enables automatic evaluation of scaling rates and behaviours, together with washing performance, by using measurements that are already available at most mills, such as the boiling point elevation and the overall heat transfer coefficient. The method identified the scaling correctly in most cases, normally >90%, although fast and sudden scaling proved to be challenging; its performance was also dependent on the quality of the data used. Historical data from three mills was evaluated and it was found that the scaling rate generally increased at higher concentrations of black liquor: one of the mills had almost no scaling below 70 % dry solids content. Another mill, however, deviated from this trend and had significant problems with fast and sudden scaling in one effect at around 60 % dry solids content. The correlation of process parameters revealed that this scaling was triggered, to a large extent, by the absence of tall oil brine, which is a side stream from the production of tall oil that is normally fed to the evaporators.



black liquor

data mining

sodium salts


Erik Karlsson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Nordic Pulp and Paper Research Journal

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

Vol. 35 4 516-532

Strategies to minimize fouling in black liquor evaporators

Swedish Energy Agency (P42332-1), 2016-10-01 -- 2020-04-30.

Valmet (449), 2016-10-01 -- 2020-04-30.

Södra (449), 2016-10-01 -- 2020-04-30.

Stora Enso AB (420-Stora Enso), 2016-10-01 -- 2020-04-30.

Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Chemical Process Engineering




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