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Zhang, Y., Cao, C.-Y., Hou, Q.-X., Feng, W.-Y., Xu, M., Su, Z.-H., Lin, Q.-Y., Zhuang, J.-F., and Lv, W.-J. (2010). "Using a membrane filtration process to concentrate the effluent from alkaline peroxide mechanical pulping plants," BioRes. 5(2), 780-795.


Using a multi-effect evaporation system to concentrate the effluent from alkaline peroxide mechanical pulping (APMP) plants is known to require a high energy consumption. In order to improve the situation, a polyethersulfone membrane was used to concentrate the effluent of APMP plants beforehand. An orthogonal experimental design was applied and a mathematical model was established to optimize the filtration parameters. An estimation of potential energy and water savings from this new concentration process was developed. The optimal filtration conditions obtained were: molecular weight cut-off at 10,000 Dalton, trans-membrane pressure at 3 bar, feed temperature at 50oC, cross-flow velocity at 420 rpm, and volume reduction factor at 0.93. The average permeate flux under these conditions was 45.31 l/m2.h. The total solids content was increased from 14.74 g/l in the feed to 95.04 g/l in the concentrate. The permeate had low total solid contents of 8.75 g/l, Chemical Oxygen Demand of 6696 mg/l, and Biochemical Oxygen Demand of 4383 mg/l. Such qualities would allow the permeate to be reused in the alkaline peroxide mechanical pulping process. With this new concentration process, about 4840.6 kwh energy can be saved and 23.3 m3 effluent discharge can be reduced for each ton of pulp produced.
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