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Anaerobic digestion in the kraft pulp and paper industry: Challenges and possibilities for implementation
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5260-1826
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Anaerob behandling inom pappers- och massaindustri : Utmaningar och möjligheter för implementering vid sulfabruk (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The pulp and paper industry is a large producer of wastewater and sludge, putting high pressure on waste treatment. In addition, more rigorous environmental legislation for pollution control and demands to increase the use of renewable energy have put further pressure on the pulp and paper industry’s waste treatment, where anaerobic digestion (AD) and the production of methane could pose a solution. Kraft pulping makes up 80% of the world production of virgin wood pulp, thus, the wastewaters from this sector represent a large unused potential for methane production.

There are three main types of substrates available for AD at pulp and paper mills, the wastewaters, the primary sludge/fibre sludge, and the waste activated sludge. AD treatment of these streams has been associated with several challenges, such as the presence of inhibiting compounds or low degradability during AD. The aim of this thesis was to experimentally address these challenges and potentials, focusing on wastes from kraft mills.

Methane potential batch tests showed that many wastewater streams still posed challenges to AD, but the alkaline elemental chlorine-free bleaching stream and the condensate effluents had good methane potentials. Further, the methane potential of kraft mill fibre sludge was high, and co-digestion of kraft mill fibre sludge and waste activated sludge was feasible in stirred tank reactors with sludge recirculation. By increasing the organic loading in a pilot-scale activated sludge facility and thereby lowering the sludge age, the degradability of the waste activated sludge was improved. The higher wastewater treatment capacity achieved by this method provides an opportunity for the mills to increase their pulp and paper production. Further, by dewatering the digestate after AD and returning the liquid to the activated sludge treatment, costs for nutrient supplementation can be reduced.

In conclusion, the thesis shows that AD of wastes from the kraft pulp and paper industry was feasible and carried many benefits regarding the generation of methane as a renewable energy carrier, improved wastewater treatment and reduced costs. Different strategies on how AD may be implemented in the kraft pulp and paper industry were formulated and discussed.

Abstract [sv]

Produktionen av pappers- och massa genererar stora mängder avloppsvatten, vilket ställer höga krav på en effektiv vattenrening. Därtill har skärpta regler för utsläpp till vatten och luft tillsammans med en ökad efterfrågan på användning av förnyelsebar energi ytterligare ökat trycket på vattenreningen inom pappers-och massaindustrin, där anaerob nedbrytning med metanproduktion som följd skulle kunna utgöra en lösning. Produktionen av sulfatmassa (en kemiskt kokad pappersmassa) utgör 80% av den globala nyproduktionen av massa, vilket innebär att avloppsvatten från denna sektor representerar en stor outnyttjad potential för metanproduktion.

Det finns huvudsakligen tre typer av substrat tillgängliga för rötning vid pappers- och massabruk, avloppsvatten, primärslam/fiberslam, och aktivt slam/överskottsslam. Flera utmaningar är kopplade till anaerob nedbrytning av dess strömmar, såsom förekomst av inhiberande ämnen eller låg nedbrytbarhet. Målet med avhandlingen var att bemöta dessa utmaningar, med ett särskilt fokus på behandling av avloppsströmmar från sulfatbruk.

Metanpotentialtester visade att många av avloppsvattnen fortfarande var svåra att behandla med anaerob nedbrytning, men att alkaliska blekeriströmmar och kondensatströmmar vid sulfatbruk visade lovande metanpotentialer. Massafiber från sulfatoch sulfitbruk uppvisade höga metanpotentialer, och en stabil kontinuerlig samrötning av fiberslam och aktivt slam från sulfatbruk uppnåddes vid hög organisk belastning och låg hydraulisk uppehållstid i omrörda tankreaktorer med slamåterföring. Resultaten visade vidare att den låga nedbrytbarheten hos aktivt slam kunde bemötas genom att sänka slamåldern i den luftade anläggningen, med högre metanpotential i slammet som följd. Via denna metodik erhålles en högre vattenreningskapacitet, vilket innebär att bruken kan öka sin produktion av papper och massa. Dessutom kan rötresten avvattnas och den kvarvarande vätskan återföras till den luftade anläggningen för att minska behovet av näringstillsatser.

Sammanfattningsvis visar avhandlingen att anaerob nedbrytning av avloppsströmmar från sulfatbruk var fullt möjlig och innebar många fördelar, i form av metanproduktion, förbättrad kapacitet för vattenrening och reducerade kostnader jämfört med dagens teknik. Olika möjligheter för implementering av anaerob teknik vid sulfatbruk har också formulerats och diskuterats.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2019. , p. 50
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Sciences, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 769
Keywords [en]
Pulp and paper, anaerobic digestion, fibre sludge, activated sludge, condensates, bleaching wastewater, wastewater treatment, methane, degradability, nutrient recirculation
Keywords [sv]
Pappers- och massa, anaerob nedbrytning, fiberslam, aktivt slam, kondensat, vattenrening, metan, nedbrytbarhet, näringsåterföring
National Category
Water Treatment Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology Renewable Bioenergy Research Bioenergy Energy Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-156667DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-156667ISBN: 9789176850633 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-156667DiVA, id: diva2:1313936
Public defence
2019-05-24, TEMCAS, Hus T, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-05-07 Created: 2019-05-07 Last updated: 2019-05-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Methane potentials of the Swedish pulp and paper industry - A screening of wastewater effluents
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Methane potentials of the Swedish pulp and paper industry - A screening of wastewater effluents
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2013 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 112, p. 507-517Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

With the final aim of reducing the energy consumption and increase the methane production at Swedish pulp and paper mills, the methane potential of 62 wastewater effluents from 10 processes at seven pulp and/or paper mills (A-G) was determined in anaerobic batch digestion assays. This mapping is a first step towards an energy efficient and more sustainable utilization of the effluents by anaerobic digestion, and will be followed up by tests in lab-scale and pilot-scale reactors. Five of the mills produce kraft pulp (KP), one thermo-mechanical pulp (TMP), two chemical thermo-mechanical pulp (CTMP) and two neutral sulfite semi-chemical (NSSC) pulp. Both elementary and total chlorine free (ECF and TCF, respectively) bleaching processes were included. The effluents included material from wood rooms, cooking and oxygen delignification, bleaching (often both acid- and alkali effluents), drying and paper/board machinery as well as total effluents before and after sedimentation. The results from the screening showed a large variation in methane yields (percent of theoretical methane potential assuming 940 NmL CH4 per g TOC) among the effluents. For the KP-mills, methane yields above 50% were obtained for the cooking effluents from mills D and F, paper machine wastewater from mill D, condensate streams from mills B, E and F and the composite pre-sedimentation effluent from mill D. The acidic ECF-effluents were shown to be the most toxic to the AD-flora and also seemed to have a negative effect on the yields of composite effluents downstream while three of the alkaline ECF-bleaching effluents gave positive methane yields. ECF bleaching streams gave higher methane yields when hardwood was processed. All TCF-bleaching effluents at the KP mills gave similar degradation patterns with final yields of 10-15% of the theoretical methane potential for four of the five effluents. The composite effluents from the two NSSC-processes gave methane yields of 60% of the theoretical potential. The TMP mill (A) gave the best average yield with all six effluents ranging 40-65% of the theoretical potential. The three samples from the CTMP process at mill B showed potentials around 40% while three of the six effluents at mill G (CTMP) yielded 45-50%.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013
Keywords
Biogas; Anaerobic digestion; Kraft pulp; Chemical thermo-mechanical pulp; Neutral sulfite semi-chemical pulp; Bleaching
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104129 (URN)10.1016/j.apenergy.2012.12.072 (DOI)000329377800053 ()
Available from: 2014-02-07 Created: 2014-02-07 Last updated: 2019-05-07
2. High-rate anaerobic co-digestion of kraft mill fibre sludge and activated sludge by CSTRs with sludge recirculation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>High-rate anaerobic co-digestion of kraft mill fibre sludge and activated sludge by CSTRs with sludge recirculation
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2016 (English)In: Waste Management, ISSN 0956-053X, E-ISSN 1879-2456, Vol. 56, p. 166-172Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Kraft fibre sludge from the pulp and paper industry constitutes a new, widely available substrate for thebiogas production industry, with high methane potential. In this study, anaerobic digestion of kraft fibresludge was examined by applying continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTR) with sludge recirculation.Two lab-scale reactors (4L) were run for 800 days, one on fibre sludge (R1), and the other on fibre sludgeand activated sludge (R2). Additions of Mg, K and S stabilized reactor performance. Furthermore, theCa:Mg ratio was important, and a stable process was achieved at a ratio below 16:1. Foaming was abatedby short but frequent mixing. Co-digestion of fibre sludge and activated sludge resulted in more robustconditions, and high-rate operation at stable conditions was achieved at an organic loading rate of 4 gvolatile solids (VS) L1 day1, a hydraulic retention time of 4 days and a methane production of230 ± 10 Nm L per g VS.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
Keywords
Pulp and paper Anaerobic digestion Sludge recirculation High-rate CSTR Fibre sludge Activated sludge
National Category
Renewable Bioenergy Research Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics Water Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-131780 (URN)10.1016/j.wasman.2016.06.034 (DOI)000383827700020 ()27453288 (PubMedID)
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency
Note

Funding agencies: Swedish Energy Agency [32802-1]; Scandinavian Biogas Fuels AB; Poyry AB; BillerudKorsnas AB; SCA; Fiskeby Board AB; Purac AB

Available from: 2016-10-05 Created: 2016-10-05 Last updated: 2019-05-07Bibliographically approved
3. Combining high-rate aerobic wastewater treatment with anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge at a pulp and paper mill
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Combining high-rate aerobic wastewater treatment with anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge at a pulp and paper mill
2018 (English)In: Water Science and Technology, ISSN 0273-1223, E-ISSN 1996-9732, Vol. 77, no 8, p. 2068-2076Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The activated sludge process within the pulp and paper industry is generally run to minimize the production of waste activated sludge (WAS), leading to high electricity costs from aeration and relatively large basin volumes. In this study, a pilot-scale activated sludge process was run to evaluate the concept of treating the wastewater at high rate with a low sludge age. Two 150 L containers were used, one for aeration and one for sedimentation and sludge return. The hydraulic retention time was decreased from 24 hours to 7 hours, and the sludge age was lowered from 12 days to 2–4 days. The methane potential of the WAS was evaluated using batch tests, as well as continuous anaerobic digestion (AD) in 4 L reactors in mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. Wastewater treatment capacity was increased almost four-fold at maintained degradation efficiency. The lower sludge age greatly improved the methane potential of the WAS in batch tests, reaching 170 NmL CH4/g VS at a sludge age of 2 days. In addition, the continuous AD showed a higher methane production at thermophilic conditions. Thus, the combination of high-rate wastewater treatment and AD of WAS is a promising option for the pulp and paper industry.

Keywords
Activated sludge, sludge age, anaerobic digestion, biochemical methane potential, CSTR, pulp and paper
National Category
Bioprocess Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-146089 (URN)10.2166/wst.2018.120 (DOI)000435663800011 ()29722692 (PubMedID)
Note

Funding agencies: Swedish Energy Agency [32802-2]; Scan-dinavian Biogas Fuels AB; Poyry AB; BillerudKorsnas AB; SCA; Fiskeby Board AB; Purac AB

Available from: 2018-05-07 Created: 2018-05-07 Last updated: 2019-05-07Bibliographically approved

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