Process performance in lignin separation from softwood black liquor by membrane filtration

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Black liquor is a side-stream in the production of kraft pulp. The extraction of lignin and hemicelluloses from black liquor would reduce the load on the recovery boiler and give valuable by-products. Lignin was separated from black liquor by membrane filtration, using one ceramic and three polymeric nanofiltration membranes, with molecular weight cut-offs in the range of 200 Da to 1 kDa. Ultrafiltration was tested as a form of pretreatment prior to nanofiltration to separate hemicelluloses from lignin. The use of ultrafiltration prior to nanofiltration increased the flux drastically in the nanofiltration step with three of the membranes. The ceramic membrane exhibited a higher flux and lower lignin retention than the polymeric membranes. The two membranes with a molecular weight cut-off of 1 kDa were found to have the best performance in parametric studies, and were therefore used in concentration studies. The results were used for a preliminary economic evaluation of the process. These calculations showed that the most cost-effective alternative for the extraction of lignin was with the polymeric 1 kDa membrane without pretreatment, and that the production cost for a lignin solution with a concentration of 230 g L−1 would be 46 € per ton of lignin.


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Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Kemiteknik


Sidor (från-till)1792-1800
TidskriftChemical Engineering Research & Design
Utgåva nummer9
StatusPublished - 2014
Peer review utfördJa