In the world of pulp and paper production, energy efficiency isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a vital component of operational cost management and environmental responsibility. Our own expert engineer, Tommy Öhman, has delved deep into this subject in his master’s thesis, “Improvement of Heat Recovery in the Paper Industry.”
Öhman’s 63-page research takes an in-depth look at the whole pulp and paper mill complex, with a keen focus on one of the most energy-consuming processes in paper production—the drying of paper in a paper machine. Consuming about 20 – 30 MW steam, this process has been the subject of intense scrutiny. The good news? Öhman found that up to 60% of the used heat could be recovered through strategic heat recovery methods, significantly impacting the overall energy efficiency.
The study doesn’t stop there. By exploring case studies that include not just heat recovery from paper machine drying sections, but also energy efficiency at pulp mills and power plants, Öhman’s thesis sheds light on the potential for industry-wide enhancements. His research revealed that increasing the exhaust air humidity from the paper machine drying section was a game-changer for the efficiency of heat recovery. Furthermore, by utilizing the excess secondary heat available at the pulp mill, energy efficiency could be dramatically improved.
But what about the savings potential? The numbers speak for themselves. Up to 23.2 GWh/a at the paper mill, 79.3 GWh/a at the pulp mill, and 10 GWh/a at the power plant could be saved with improvements to heat recovery and reduction of fouling.
Intrigued to learn more about the potential for energy efficiency and heat recovery in the pulp and paper industry? Ready to uncover how your mill could benefit from having its energy efficiency reviewed? We invite you to download Tommy Öhman’s full thesis. Dive into the details of his research and discover how your mill can become more energy-efficient, reduce operational costs, and contribute to a more sustainable paper industry.