Low Consistency Refining Combined with Screen Fractionation: Reduction of Mechanical Pulping Process Complexity

Christer Sandberg, Jan-Erik Berg, Per Engstrand


Process intensification is a process development methodology aimed at a considerable reduction in the energy consumption and process complexity. The approach has been applied to mechanical pulping process design. A process denoted as HC-LC-S consisting of single stage high consistency (HC) refining, followed by low consistency (LC) refining and screening was evaluated in mill trials at the Holmen Paper Braviken Mill in Sweden. After LC refining, the pulp was screened, and the reject fraction was fed back to LC refining. Two HC primary refiner types were evaluated, namely single disc (SD) and double disc (DD). Double disc chip refining was more suitable than SD refining for the HC-LC-S process because of the higher light scattering and lower shives content of the final pulp. The tensile index and shives content of the pulp produced with the DD-LC-S process was similar to that of the reference process, consisting of single stage DD refining and HC reject refining, but the fibre length and light scattering were somewhat lower. The specific refining energy was approximately 200 kWh/adt lower for the DD-LC-S process compared with the reference. Additionally, the auxiliary specific energy was 100 kWh/adt lower for the HC-LC-S processes, since a number of equipment units were omitted.


Mechanical pulping; TMP; Low consistency refining; Screening; Fractionation; Process intensification

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