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Waste Management in Pulp and Paper Industry

Environmental impacts from production

Noise Emission into air

SO2, NOx, particulates, TRS

Pulp washing

Transport Debarking
Pulp bleaching

Pulp cooking

Paper cutting Packaging

Purchased pulp

Paper machine Paper coating Paper glazing Transportation

Pulp grinding

Discharges into waters

COD, BOD, TSS, P, N Waste
• Pulp and Paper industry reuses efficiently by-products from
the different stages of the production processes.

• Most of the wood raw material and sludges from the effluent
treatment plants is burned for energy in the energy boilers.

• More than 60 % of the ash (bark) from the energy

production is utilized for example as fertilizer or as
earthwork material

• Scrap metal and waste paper are recycled almost totally as

raw material.
Solid waste types

The wastes can be classified according to their

possibilities for further processing:

 Waste fractions to be recycled

 Waste fractions to be landfilled
 Hazardous wastes.
Solid waste types

Waste fractions to be recycled

– Wood waste (chips, bark, sawdust)

– Waste paper and waste board
– Waste sludges from effluent treatment plant
– Other waste (scrap metal, household wastes and other
municipal wastes)
Solid waste types

• Waste fractions to be landfilled

The waste which are formed in the production
processes and cannot be re-used are dumped to the
landfills. The landfill is usually located in the mill area or in
its neighbourhood.

• Hazardous wastes
Forest industry produces only small amounts of
hazardous wastes. Hazardous waste is delivered either for
recycling (e.g. waste oils) or to be treated in the hazardous
waste treatment plant (e.g. oil filters, solid oily wastes and
spray cans).
Treatment and utilization methods of solid wastes

Most solid waste fractions can be reused as raw material and

energy or they are recycled back to production.

Treatment alternatives for solid wastes:

• Fiber sludge: Drying by the screw presses (dry matter content > 35 %).
Utilization in energy production or in earth work.
• Biosludge: Drying by the centrifuges or by the filter belt presses (dry
matter content 15-20 %). Possibly thermal drying (dry matter content > 90
%). Utilization in energy production or by composting to landscaping and
• Coating sludge: Recycling back to coating pigment production or
composting. Usage in the tightening layer of the closed landfills.
• Ash: Utilization in earthwork or as forest fertilizer.
• Waste oils: Production of recycled oils or using as support fuel in the
burning of hazardous wastes.
Usage of fibre clay (paper mill sludge) in the
tightening layer of closed landfill (Finncao Oy)
Utilization of sludge and ash

• Biosludge is typically burned with primary sludge in the

fluidized bed boilers or alone in a soda recovery boiler or
disposed of in landfills. Burning is the most common
treatment method to decrease the amounts of primary
sludge and biosludge. Sludge has a quite low thermal
value and may cause boiler malfunctions. It is essential to
get the dry content of the sludge as high as possible before
• Ashes can be used as a forest fertilizer or as a raw material
for cement and bricks. They have also various uses in the
earth construction. Unfortunately, all of the ash cannot be
utilized yet.
Sorting of waste

• Pulp and paper mills have their own waste treatment plans
and instructions accepted in the environmental permits.
They includes all the necessary sorting, collecting and
treatment routines. Sorting and collecting containers are
located in the places where waste materials are generated.
• Pulp and paper mills' landfill waste has decreased
significantly since 1990's because the formation of solid
waste has been minimized and solid waste formed has
been recycled back to production or reused as raw material
and energy.
Sorting place of wastes

Hazardous waste

Recycled plastic
Maintanance waste
Burnable waste
Process waste
Landfill waste has decreased significantly
by increasing the material efficiency
Landfill waste and production and of pulp and paper mills in

1000 t/a Production mill. t/a

1,400 16
Landfill waste Paper and board production
1,200 14


200 2

0 0
1992 1995 1998 2001 2004 2007 2010

SOURCE: Finnish Forest Industries Federation

Landfill wastes

• The solid waste fractions which are taken from the mill to
the landfill are collected separately and they have also to
be kept separated in the landfill area for the possible later

• The wastes, which are taken to the landfill, are weighed

and the landfill suitability analyses carried out according to
the program accepted by the authorities. The limit values of
the landfill wastes for different elements and metals cannot
be exceeded.
Waste fractions to be landfilled (partly or totally)

• Wood ash (fly ash and dust)

• Other ashes (fuel e.g. peat, coal, oil or a mixture of solid
• Fiber sludges
• Green liquor dregs (from green liquor clarifier or filter)
• Lime mud and lime waste
• Coating sludges
• Deinking waste
• Wood waste
Landfill waste/green liquor dregs

 Pulp and paper mill Industries produce large amounts of

waste which is disposed in landfills.

 One of the greatest sources of landfill waste in the pulp and

paper mills is green liquor dregs whose amount is usually 5
- 20 kg/ADt pulp.

 Due to the high pH level green liquor dregs, it cannot be used

in the earth construction.

 It can be used to some extent in neutralizing acidic waste

waters and as a tightening layer at the closed landfills.
Formation of qreen liquor dregs and lime waste in the
chemical circulation of pulp mill
Lime kiln Liquor
Liquor and
CaCO3 Cooked Chips


Waste Weak Black
Heavy Black
Green Liquor Liquor
Soda Recovery Boiler

 A landfill area must have a tight layer which prevents the

entrance of water into the landfilled material.

 Clay can be used for this purpose if there is enough suitable

clay available. In addition to the clay, geotextiles are
alternatively used for sealing.

 A waterproof transparency or sufficient clay layer will be

first spread over the levelled landfill.

 A drain mat, whose task is to lead the coming rain waters

away, is spread over the transparency.

 Gravel layer is spread over the drain mat for preventing the
breaking down of the drain mat and the transparency below
it when for example a excavator goes over the landfill.
 An earth layer, where the vegetation will grow, is spread
over the gravel layer. The waters, which come from the
closed landfill area, are led into the collecting basin of the
drain water.
 The collected waters are purified locally in the effluent
treatment plant of the mill or in municipal effluent treatment
plant before leading to watercourses.
 If organic materials have been placed to the landfills,
collection of the gas formed has to be arranged.
Building a new landfill

 When establishing a new landfill area, a tight bottom is

made under it.
 Pipes which can be used to monitor the durability of the
tight ground floor are made under the bottom.
 The bottom of the landfill area is shaped so that the
moisture in the material to be landfilled will flow naturally
into the collecting basin of the landfill area.
 The waters of the new landfill area will be purified before
leading to watercourses.
 The tightness demand of the bottom of the new landfill area
is determined by the material to be land-filled.
Recovered paper

 Recovered paper is a valuable raw material for paper

manufacturers and the demand for it is increasing.

 Recovered paper is mostly used for some paperboard

grades, newsprint and tissue.

 Recycling supports sustainable development and it

helps efficient use of natural resources.
Sludge treatment
In pulp and paper industry, the mechanical treatment of
waste waters produces primary sludge and the biological
treatment produces biosludge. In addition, chemical sludge
is formed when the mechanical treatment of waste waters
and coating color waters is intensified with chemicals.

Sludge Forms

 When suspended solids are separated from waste water

 When microbes ’eat’ organic matter in the biological treatment,
biological mass grows.
 When chemicals are used during waste water treatment,
substances in waste water react with chemicals forming
Different stages of sludge treatment

Sludge thickening

Sludge conditioning

Mechanical drainage.
Sludge thickening

 Sludge is normally thickened by sedimentation. In this

process, consistency level is raised from 0.3- 3 % to 2-10 %
(biological sludge 1.5- 3 %). Devices based on gravitation
resemble a round clarifier. Devices are strongly built
because of high load of solids and they are often equipped
with a scraper.

 After thickening, Biological sludge and Fiber sludge are

pumped into a mixing tank (a normal ratio 30 - 60 % of
biological sludge and 40 - 70 % of fiber sludge or primary
Sludge thickener
Sludge conditioning

 Sludge conditioning improves water removal properties

 This is done by adding chemicals.

 Usually the best result is achieved using a combination of

inorganic salt and polyelectrolyte (e.g. ferric sulphate +

 Conditioning chemicals are normally dosed into a

flocculation tank.
Mechanical drainage

 Devices based on press, filtration,

centrifugation or a combination of these are
used for mechanical drainage. These
devices are:

 a centrifuge,
 a filter belt press
 a screw press.
Mechanical drainage

 In a filter belt press, water is separated from sludge in two

1. Water is separated by gravity
2. Final water removal is done by pressing, usually in many
separate stages. The operation of a filter belt press is
controlled by adjusting the speed of the wire, the strength of
the press and the amount and consistency of the sludge.

 After a mechanical drainage, the sludge are usually burned

in a bark boiler together with the bark and wood waste
originating from the wood handling plant or transported to
the landfill.
Filter belt press
Burning of sludge

 The main purpose of burning sludge is to decrease the volume of sludge

and to convert sludge into inorganic form. This helps landfill treatment
and lower expenses as well as gives new possibilities to utilize waste as
an ash. The heat energy formed has no significance if the dry content of
the sludge is low. However, sludge burning is usually economical
because it decreases the costs for dumping the sludge to a landfill. Dry
content is the most important factor in the burning of sludge.

 The dry content of the sludge to be burned is usually about 20- 40 %,

which is achieved in the mechanical drainage (in the best case over 50
% by a screw press). Sludge is normally mixed with the bark and wood
waste, which should be done in a controlled way to keep the mixture as
homogeneous as possible. To minimize the harmful emissions, the feed
of fuels into a boiler should be as constant as possible
Fluidized bed combustion

 In fluidized bed combustion, air is fed through air holes in

the bottom of the boiler. The air causes the sand layer in
the boiler to bubble. This action improves the combustion
conditions in the boiler, enabling more uniform fuel combus-
tion with lower emissions in comparison to traditional fixed
bed combustion.

 In the fluidized bed combustion, the effect of sand bubbling

evens the temperature and improves the oxygen level
distribution. This enables better control of the combustion
process when variations in fuel quality occur. Fuels with low
dry content can be used in fluidized bed boilers.