The Ahlstrom-Munksjö Mosinee plant in Wisconsin is teaming up with Via Separations and the US Department of Energy (DOE) to pilot a project to validate Via Separations’ Black Liquor Concentration System, which uses a reverse osmosis like process to remove hot clean water from weak black liquor.
Black liquor is the by-product from the kraft process when digesting pulpwood into paper pulp removing lignin and other extractives from the wood, to free the cellulose fibres and allow the papermaking process to occur. The new system will reduce energy requirements for this process, increase mill throughput, and increase production of co-products which are used as a heating source.
Shreya Dave, CEO of Via Separations, said: “At commercial scale, the technology has the potential to provide a 64% decrease in energy demand in the evaporator process." She added that the company is always looking for pathways towards a more sustainable, resource efficient future.
Steve Myers, VP of Operations for Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s Wisconsin facilities, said: “By integrating this new technology we hope to set an example for further energy consumption research within the paper industry.”