NC State
Hubbe, M. A., Becheleni, E. M. A., Lewis, A. E., Peters, E. M., Gan, W., Nong, G., Mandal, S., and Shi, S. Q. (2018). "Recovery of inorganic compounds from spent alkaline pulping liquor by eutectic freeze crystallization and supporting unit operations: A Review," BioRes. 13(4), Page numbers to be added.


After the kraft or soda pulping of lignocellulosic materials to produce pulp suitable for papermaking, the spent pulping liquor typically has been recovered by multi-effect evaporation, followed by incineration in a recovery boiler.  This review article considers one unit operation, eutectic freeze crystallization (EFC), that may have potential to save some of the energy that is presently consumed in the evaporation step during recovery of inorganic chemicals from spent pulping liquor.  Based on a review of the literature it appears that EFC can be employed to obtain relatively pure sodium sulfate and sodium carbonate, along with relatively pure water (in the form of ice) from the spent liquor, under the assumption that lignin previously has been removed by acidification and precipitation.  Issues of inorganic scale formation, during the operation of an EFC process applied to lignin-free black liquor, will require research attention.  The chemical reactions to regenerate the active pulping chemicals sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfide from sodium carbonate, sodium sulfate, and other compounds isolated by EFC can be carried out either in a separate operation or by returning the materials to the feed of an existing recovery boiler.

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