Recovery Act - Use of Lignin to Fire Lime Kilns in the Pulp and Paper Industry
Department of Energy
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Small Business Information
Houghton Cascade Holdings, Llc
1145 Broadway Plaza, Suite 1500, Tacoma, WA, 98402
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThe U.S. pulp and paper industry is at a turning point. The industry not only needs to address the demands of the changing global economy along with increasing competitiveness, but they must also prepare for policy changes and technological improvements in the field of energy. The pulp and paper industry currently operates more than 175 kilns to produce lime for the pulping process. Over 98% of these kilns are fired with natural gas, oil, or petroleum coke, with a consumption equivalent to over 20 million barrels of oil per year. This equates to more than 11 million tons of CO2 emissions per year. The lignin that is generated as a by-product in Kraft pulping could be used to eliminate all of the fossil fuels the industry is currently using in their kilns. The technology for lignin removal has been around for many years. The goal of this project is engineer a system that will dry and burn lignin removed from black liquor on a continuous basis to replace fossil fuels in lime kilns. The study also looks at the cost of implementing the technology, the potential returns and a strategy to market the to the industry. The implementation of this technology would allow the U.S. pulp and paper industry lower the cost of manufacturing pulp while simultaneously reducing its carbon footprint. In order for the paper industry to stay competitive, they have shifted to lower priced fuels higher in carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. In response to growing concerns over global warming the general population and government officials are looking for cost effective ways to help industry replace high carbon content fossil fuels with carbon neutral renewable fuels. Lignin, a by-product from pulping, can now be commercially extracted from the pulping process. However, the lignin product is not viable as a fuel. This research will develop a process to dry and condition the lignin to make an excellent fuel. A new burner will be developed to handle lignin. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The lignin combustion system developed in this project will help the U.S. pulp and paper industry lower its cost of manufacture and help maintain jobs. These systems could be used in up to 175 mills and greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The technology could also be used to help the bio-fuels industry make use of the lignin waste streams from their plants.
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