Critical parameters for tall oil separation I: The importance of ration of fatty acids to rosin acids, TAPPI Journal September 2019

Application: Controlling the ratio of fatty acids to rosin acids in kraft pulping can significantly affect the tall oil separation and improve its yield and quality.

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Author: Ioannis Dogaris, Mikael E. Lindström, and Gunnar Henriksson
Critical parameters for tall oil separation I: The importanc
ABSTRACT: Tall oil is a valuable byproduct in chemical pulping of wood, and its fractions have a large spectrum of applications as chemical precursors, detergents, and fuel. High recovery of tall oil is important for the economic and environmental profile of chemical pulp mills. The purpose of this study was to investigate critical parameters of tall oil separation from black liquor. To investigate this in a controlled way, we developed a model test system using a “synthetic” black liquor (active cooking chemicals OH- and HS- ions), a complete process for soap skimming, and determination of recovered tall oil based on solvent extraction and colorimetric analysis, with good reproducibility. We used the developed system to study the effect of the ratio of fatty acids to rosin acids on tall oil separation. When high amounts of rosin acids were present, tall oil recovery was low, while high content of fatty acids above 60% significantly promoted tall oil separation. Therefore, manipulating the content of fatty acids in black liquor before the soap skimming step can significantly affect the tall oil solubility, and hence its separation. The findings open up chemical ways to improve the tall oil yield.

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