Process Simulation of Pulp Mill-Based Integrated Biorefinery with Hemicellulose Pre-Extraction and Black Liquor Gasification

Tuesday, November 9, 2010: 4:55 PM
150 C Room (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Hua-Jiang Huang and Shri Ramaswamy, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN

Pulp and paper mill is a well-established major platform for effective and sustainable use of woody biomass. The main focus, however, has been around production of cellulose fiber (pulp and paper) and energy (steam and power) via combustion of black liquor. The current approach has some major disadvantages including partial dissolution and combustion of low heating value hemicelluloses and black liquor combustion and combined heat and power cycle is less efficient. Therefore, modification of the modern day pulp mills into integrated forest biorefineries (IFBR) by incorporating hemicellulose pre-extraction prior to pulping for biofuels and biochemicals production and black liquor gasification combined cycle (BLGCC) presents an excellent opportunity to produce, in addition to valuable cellulose fiber, co-products including fuel grade ethanol and additional energy. This is expected to contribute to increased revenue streams and profitability for the pulp and paper industry as well as potentially lowering the greenhouse gas emissions. Here we present a complex process model developed to simulate the pulp mill-based IFBR with hemicelluloses extraction prior to pulping for ethanol production as well as BLGCC. The simulation results can help better understand the economic and environmental benefits and impacts of modifying conventional pulp and paper mills into future integrated biorefineries and contribute to the design and development of future IFBR.

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