Built on several decades of fundamental and applied scientific research, FPInnovations’ process knowledge is ideal for optimizing thermomechanical pulp (TMP) mills and their key unit operations, such as screening and cleaning.
Fundamental research projects have resulted in a state-of-the-art pilot plant in Port Hawkesbury — a solid foundation for technology transfer.
Port Hawkesbury Paper took advantage of FPInnovations’ expertise by using its recent TMP audits to help generate the design for a new energy-efficient process configuration. A series of “fractionation” screens incorporates 1.6 mm holes to selectively remove coarse, long fibres for further development in the high-consistency rejects refining system. A second series of screens utilize advanced technology and narrow slots (0.12 mm) to provide “barrier screening,” preventing shives, or fibre bundles, from being accepted. The advanced process configuration has permitted the decommissioning of several large pumps and opened the door for mainline refiner optimization.
“We have completed quality performance audits for many years with FPInnovations and they have guided us on energy and quality projects,” notes mill co-manager Bevan Lock. “Our next audit will confirm the project produced all promised results, including a $1.5 million payback.”
An annual net energy savings of well over a million dollars, while maintaining or improving quality, demonstrates the value of modernization built on a solid foundation of science.