Upgrading of wood pre-hydrolysis liquor for renewable barrier design: a techno-economic consideration
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A techno-economic assessment of an upgrading procedure and outtake of a pre-hydrolysate in a presumed dissolving pulp mill was performed. Pre-hydrolysis of spruce wood chips in pilot scale produced input data for energy and mass balances and was performed with and without subsequent membrane filtration to produce hydrolysate fractions rich in galactoglucomannan and with some lignin. The hydrolysate is a viable raw material for the production of renewable thin oxygen barrier films as demonstrated herein in the formulation of free standing films with very low oxygen permeability at both moderate and high relative humidities. Approximately 50,000 ton dry solid upgraded pre-hydrolysate suitable for production of oxygen barriers could be produced according to the presumed dissolving pulp mill producing about 500,000 air dry ton dissolving pulp per year and applying a liquor to wood ratio of 4:1. Utilization of the pre-hydrolysis liquor hence adds value to and realizes the dissolving plant as a biorefinery. A sensitivity analysis indicates that the market price of the upgraded pre-hydrolysate has the largest positive effect on the return on investment for separation and upgrading of a pre-hydrolysate. Increased investment cost and increased annuity factor show negative effects.
KeywordsPre-hydrolysis Dissolving pulp Hemicellulose Wood hydrolysate Mass balance Techno-economic assessment
We thank FORMAS (Project Number 2009-2009), Södra Innovation, Södra Skogsägarnas stiftelse för forskning, utveckling och utbildning, and Tetra Pak for financial support. Södra Cell AB is thanked for kindly providing the spruce chips.
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