One of the main limiting factors when a green field pulp mill intends to increase its production is the capacity of the Tomlinson boiler by which the cooking chemicals are recovered. Since a boiler of this kind has a service life of some thirty years and represents a substantial investment, it is not an easy decision to replace it for a minor production increase. This study takes a novel approach to the problem. The excess black liquor is assumed to be recovered in a black liquor gasifier, an emerging technology for alternative black liquor recovery. Black liquor gasification in itself has been studied considerably during the last decade. In this study it is combined with the gasification of biomass, i.e. bark and wood, which is already available at a pulp mill. The resulting hybrid energy system, with a gas turbine and a gas expander, offers interesting possibilities: good off-design performance and high efficiency with respect to the fuel quality.

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