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Membrane treatment of the bleaching plant (EPO) filtrate of a kraft pulp mill


The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of membrane technology to treat oxygen and peroxide-reinforced extraction stage (EPO) filtrate from a kraft pulp mill bleach plant. Three different types of tubular membranes were tested in a pilot plant: (i) tight ultrafiltration (UF); (ii) open UF followed by nanofiltration (UF + NF); and (iii) nanofiltration (NF). According to the separation performance, considering the chemical oxygen demand (COD) and colour removal, permeate flux, operational simplicity and cost, the results indicated that the best option for treatment of (EPO) filtrates was the tight UF membrane. This membrane obtained a COD removal of 79% with a colour reduction of 86%. The effect of (EPO) filtrate UF treatment on the mill effluent treatment plant was evaluated. Compared with the actual mill effluent, the results indicated that if the UF permeate was recycled in the bleaching area, the COD reduction efficiency increased by 7%, the final effluent colour decreased by 8%, the biological sludge production decreased by 18%, and the energy consumption decreased by 40%. In the tertiary treatment plant, the coagulant dosage decreased by 40%, and the tertiary sludge production decreased by 46%.

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