Chip scale modelling of the kraft pulping process by considering the heterogeneous nature of the lignocellulosic feedstock

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A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
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Chemical Engineering Research and Design, Volume 193
This article focuses on a multiscale modelling approach to describe the delignification of softwood during the kraft pulping process. A framework for modelling the lignocellulosic feedstock on a fibre scale which considered the fundamental chemical components of wood as a distributed variable is re-assessed and extended to include chip-level phenomena such as diffusion limitations and initial component distributions within a softwood chip mixture. A new description of the wood chip is presented using a finite volume discretisation along one spatial dimension by simultaneously considering the anisotropic structural differences of the wood. Additionally, based on literature data, a distinction between the softwood chips' early- and latewood regions with their differences in densities and chemical composition is suggested. The presented model framework uses published sub-models for kinetics, diffusion etc. The validation and estimation of the remaining parameters are conducted from experimental data that quantifies the kappa number distribution of individual softwood fibres after kraft pulping. The investigation hypothesises a Gaussian distribution for the initial chemical component distribution within wood chips from a well-defined region. In contrast, a Log-normal distribution is used to describe the initial chemical distribution within a softwood chip mixture. The established sub-models for the kraft pulping process's kinetics and mass transfer phenomena could not predict the experimental data satisfactorily. However, modifying the sub-models by including a change in lignin reactivity and a temperature dependency of the lignin reactivity decline during the delignification progress could predict the essence of the observed experimental kappa number distribution.
Funding Information: This work was financially supported and part of the Academy of Finland's Flagship Program under Projects No. 318890 and 318891 (Competence Center for Materials Bioeconomy, FinnCERES). Publisher Copyright: © 2023 The Author(s)
Chemical pulp, Digester, Distribution, Kappa number, Lignin reactivity, Uniformity
Other note
Bijok , N , Fiskari , J , Gustafson , R R & Alopaeus , V 2023 , ' Chip scale modelling of the kraft pulping process by considering the heterogeneous nature of the lignocellulosic feedstock ' , Chemical Engineering Research and Design , vol. 193 , pp. 13-27 .