Air Filtration Reduces Contaminant Risk in Pulp and Paper Manufacturing

Pulp and paper operations present multiple challenges for air pollution control. Steam boilers produce fly-ash, process equipment creates salt cake accumulation, and in-plant processes create various kinds of dust and fumes. AAF Flanders applies the appropriate core technologies, with customized installations for the specific industry needs, to meet and exceed goals for reduced emissions and material recovery per EPA guidelines.

The primary source for gaseous contamination in pulp and paper mills is the pulping process. In the Kraft pulping process, highly malodorous emissions of reduced sulfur compounds are produced. These compounds are measured as total reduced sulfur (TRS) and include hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, dimethyl sulfide, and dimethyl disulfide. These sulfur compounds are often described as smelling like rotten cabbage. In the sulfite pulping process, sulfur oxides are also emitted in significant concentrations. Other pulping processes, such as the mechanical and thermomechanical methods, generate significantly lower quantities of air emissions.

In addition, steam- and electricity-generating units using coal or fuel oil emit fly ash, sulfur oxides, and nitrogen oxides. A secondary source of corrosive gases in the pulping process occurs during the bleaching step. These bleaching chemicals, which often include lime, are caustic and cause corrosion to occur.

Ways That a Plant Produces Pulp:

The four primary processes employed in the U.S. and Canada are:
  • Kraft (a chemical process)
  • Sulfite (a chemical process)
  • Mechanical
  • Thermomechanical

Optimize Your Filtration and Improve Your Environment

For particulate filtration, several stages of air filtration products are employed to help keep the wood fiber and associated dust to a minimum. that the removal of this dust helps ensure the paper quality and the consistent operation of the pulping equipment and paper production machines.

At a minimum, protection of the control room includes pressurization with purified air. This prevents corrosive gases from infiltrating the control room and causing damage. Additionally, recirculation air may require cleaning if the room is a high-traffic area, or there are other internal sources of contaminants.

Supplemental real-time monitoring, such as AAF Flanders’ SAAFShield® Technology, is recommended to enable quick reaction to outdoor events that may introduce corrosive gases into control rooms, as well as to monitor odors.

A thorough audit of your air filtration system is the first step that AAF Flanders recommends to provide you with professional guidance and an analysis for cost savings and liability reduction opportunities. By conducting this audit, we document your current state and advise you on how your facility could perform better, helping you save money, save time, and reduce risk.

Contact your AAF Flanders representative to schedule an audit and to find out how the insights from intelligent data tools, including TCO Diagnostic® and Sensor360®, can improve your operational outcomes.