Release of Carbon and Nitrogen During Pyrolysis of Reduced Lignin Black Liquors – Experimental Results

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Removing lignin from black liquor is of increasing industrial interest. It has the potential to create a new product stream for pulp mills as well as providing a way to reduce the load of over-loaded recovery boilers. Currently, very little information is available on the combustion properties of reduced-lignin black liquors. Of particular importance is the split of carbon and nitrogen. The carbon split is especially important because it plays an important role in how much carbon reaches the char bed. This in turn affects the lower furnace temperature, whichplays an important role in determining reduction efficiency, sulphur and alkali release, and NO and cyanate formation. The nitrogen split is of interest because a part of black liquor nitrogen precipitates with the lignin, potentially changing the behaviour of black liquor N. The purpose of this work is to investigate the effect of lignin removal on carbon and nitrogen distribution between volatiles and char during pyrolysis.In this work, two black liquors (one softwood and one eucalyptus) with various levels of lignin removal were pyrolyzed in a singleparticle furnace for two seconds at temperatures from 900°C to 1100°C. Additional softwood and hardwood liquors were also pyrolyzed to study liquor-to-liquor variability. The carbon and nitrogen splits were obtained by analyzing the chars from the pyrolysis experiments using a CHNS elemental analyzer. Results show a similar carbon split for liquors with up to 25% lignin removal. The nitrogen split was also found to be fairly consistent, with approximately 45% of the nitrogen staying with the char.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)37–42
JournalJ-For: the Journal of Science and Technology for Forest Products and Processes
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Mathematical modeling
  • black liquor combustion
  • NOx emissions
  • Black liquor

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