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Bio-refinery system of DME or CH₄ production from black liquor gasification in pulp mills

Naqvi, M., Yan, J., Fröling, M.
Bioresource technology 2010 v.101 no.3 pp. 937-944
biorefining, methane production, ethers, biogas, gasification, lignin, pulp and paper mill effluents, pulp and paper mills, kraft pulping, renewable energy sources, biomass
There is great interest in developing black liquor gasification technology over recent years for efficient recovery of bio-based residues in chemical pulp mills. Two potential technologies of producing dimethyl ether (DME) and methane (CH₄) as alternative fuels from black liquor gasification integrated with the pulp mill have been studied and compared in this paper. System performance is evaluated based on: (i) comparison with the reference pulp mill, (ii) fuel to product efficiency (FTPE) and (iii) biofuel production potential (BPP). The comparison with the reference mill shows that black liquor to biofuel route will add a highly significant new revenue stream to the pulp industry. The results indicate a large potential of DME and CH₄ production globally in terms of black liquor availability. BPP and FTPE of CH₄ production is higher than DME due to more optimized integration with the pulping process and elimination of evaporation unit in the pulp mill.