University of Oulu

Fractionation of thermomechanical pulp in pressure screening : an experimental study on the classification of fibres with slotted screen plates

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Author: Ämmälä, Ari1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Department of Process and Environmental Engineering
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2001
Publish Date: 2001-03-01
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Raahensali (Auditorium L 10), Linnanmaa, onMarch 30th, 2001, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Doctor Esko Härkönen
Doctor Kari Luukko


Pressure screening, nowadays the most widely used method for cleaning pulp, has been traditionally investigated as a debris removal process. The aim of this thesis, however, was to study it with a view to the fractionation of pulps, examining systematically and extensively the effects of screening parameters on fractionation under actual working conditions in order to provide an insight into its possibilities and limitations as a fractionation method. The experimental work was performed with a full-scale two-stage pressure screen connected to an industrial TMP process. Fractionation of the pulp was analysed in terms of consistency, freeness, optical fibre length distribution, coarseness index and Bauer-McNett fractions. Two sampling systems were used during the screening experiments, manual and semiautomatic. The latter was assessed to be more reliable, as reflected in lower stochastic variation and the absence of a systematic bias in the mass balance errors over the screen. The poorer reliability of the manual sampling system was offset by the large number of screening tests, however.

The results of the screening experiments showed that with a given design of the screen plate, the separation of each fraction was dependent almost exclusively on the mass and volumetric reject rates. The mass flow of fines, defined as the Bauer-McNett P200 fraction, was dependent mostly on the volumetric reject rate, while the mass flow of fibrous fractions (R200, R50, R30, R16) depended mostly on the mass reject rate. The mass reject rate obtained in pressure screening was a result of the choice of operating parameters, but fractionation efficiency could not be affected by using different combinations of these parameters (feed consistency, rotor tip speed and slot velocity) if the mass and volumetric reject rates were kept constant. The slot width together with the contouring of the screen plate affected the fractionation efficiency as compared with the situation at constant mass and volumetric reject rate. Increased fractionation was obtained by reducing the slot width and contouring. The pulp passage ratio, which combines the mass and volumetric reject rates into one parameter, was found to be a expedient way of expressing the fractionation of pulp, as it was possible to present fractionation uniformly as a function of this ratio. The change in freeness was found to correlate quite well with that in Bauer-McNett fractions, and it was a good indicator of fractionation efficiency in screening. Apart from fractionation according to length (or Bauer-McNett fractions), the slotted pressure screen was also found to classify the fibres according to their coarseness. The coarseness difference was partially dependent on the fibre length, but additionally the coarseness in the accept pulp for any given fibre length class was always lower than that in the reject pulp. The difference obtained seemed to depend on the passage ratio of the pulp.

This thesis provides new information for the modelling of pulp quality and the design of fractionation experiments, fractionation processes and screen room control strategies.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. C, Technica
ISSN-E: 1796-2226
ISBN: 951-42-5919-X
ISBN Print: 951-42-5918-1
Issue: 156
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2001. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.