Improving refining efficiency with deflocculation, TAPPI Journal May 2022

Application: Conventional refining of softwood and old corrugated containers (OCC) is compromised by the creation of flocs. A novel refiner plate modification counteracts this, making refining more energy efficient. The improvement in refining efficiency is typically greater than can be achieved through no-load reduction. Additional research could yield further optimization.

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Author: Dwight Anderson and Len Schuster
Improving refining efficiency with deflocculation, TAPPI Jou
ABSTRACT: The ability to load a refiner requires the formation of a fiber mat between opposing refiner bars. One of the consequences of this is the formation of flocs that persist through the refiner grooves and exit the refiner. These flocs interfere with sheet strength, requiring additional energy to make up the strength deficit. In addition, flocs can initiate string formation, resulting in machine efficiency issues such as cross-machine profile deterioration and the downtime required to correct it. Novel refiner plate modifications have been shown to improve refining efficiency in otherwise identical refiner plates. Energy savings are typically around 15% of gross refining energy on the basis of the treated stock, although much higher reductions have also been seen. Addressing this previously underappreciated flaw in conventional refining enables greenhouse gas reduction and other benefits related to sheet strength and machine efficiency.

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