Tri-generation could reduce kraft mill energy costs

Research at Montrealís Ecole Polytechnique Chemical Engineering faculty is looking at a novel approach to optimizing the use of energy resources in a pulp mill. Supported by industry funding, Prof. Jean Paris is working with Dr. Tom Browne and other colleagues at Paprican on a technique they believe will enable more heat to be recovered from a pulp mill and reduce electricity purchases.

According to a report from Paprican, the approach is based on a heat pump using a liquid solution circuit as the driving force, thus doing away with the need for a compressor. The report says that absorption heat pumps using environmentally benign working fluids offer a technically feasible alternative to mechanical compression heat pumps for recovering the abundant waste heat in mills.

Configured as a thermotransformer, the need for primary energy (i.e. steam or fuel) is totally eliminated. In combination with co-generation, it can be used for the simultaneous production of power, heating and cooling.

A feasibility study is underway at the Papier Fraser (Fraser Papers) bleached kraft pulp mill in Thurso, QC. Other project partners are ZAE Bayern, Munich, Germany (absorption heat pumps) and EPFLausanne, Switzerland (co- and tri-generation). PI

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