Title: An integrated approach to the optimisation of water usage and discharge in pulp and paper plants

Authors: Eva M. Lovelady, Mahmoud El-Halwagi, Gopal A. Krishnagopalan

Addresses: Chemical Engineering Department, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA. ' Chemical Engineering Department, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA. ' Chemical Engineering Department, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA

Abstract: This paper is aimed at developing a systematic methodology for the cost-effective reduction of water usage and discharge in pulp and paper plants. As the industry moves towards increased system closure, the build-up of Non-Process Elements (NPEs) leads to serious consequences on the process equipment. In response, this paper achieves the following: a mathematical model to track water and primary NPEs throughout the pulping process; rigorous targeting for water usage and discharge; a systematic framework for water reduction using mass integration strategies including no/low cost techniques as well as capital-based techniques; an optimisation model for the optimisation of allocation, recycle and separation of aqueous streams. A case study for water management in a kraft pulping process has been solved to highlight the usefulness of the devised approach.

Keywords: process integration; mass integration; kraft pulping; water management; pollution prevention; environmental pollution; pulp and paper plants; water usage; water reduction; discharge.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEP.2007.012807

International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 2007 Vol.29 No.1/2/3, pp.274 - 307

Published online: 15 Mar 2007 *

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