The kraft process dominates pulp and paper production worldwide. Black liquor, a mixture of lignin and inorganic chemicals, is generated in this process as fiber is extracted from wood. At most kraft mills today, black liquor is burned in Tomlinson boilers to produce steam for on-site heat and power and to recover the inorganic chemicals for reuse in the process. Globally, the black liquor generation rate is about 85,000 MWfuel (or 0.5 million tonnes of dry solids per day), with nearly 50% of this in North America. The majority of presently-installed Tomlinson boilers will reach the end of their useful lives during the next 15 to 20 years. As a replacement for Tomlinson-based cogeneration, black liquor-gasifier/gas turbine cogeneration promises higher electrical efficiency, with prospective environmental, safety, and capital cost benefits for kraft mills. Several companies are pursuing commercialization of black liquor gasification for gas turbine applications. This paper presents results of detailed performance modeling of gasifier/gas turbine cogeneration systems using different black liquor gasifiers modeled on proposed commercial designs.

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