In today’s world of electrical energy, paper mills still prefer steam to deliver heat energy to their processes. As an energy-intensive industrial sector, it is necessary for them to be as efficient as possible.
Pulp and paperboard mills use 15-20% of all energy used in U.S. manufacturing. Steam generation is a large part of the energy needed. The pulp and paper industry uses 43% of all steam generated nationwide. By incorporating inline direct steam injection systems, mills are experiencing up to 66% reductions in heating costs.
The energy costs to run a mill eat away at the revenue. However, in many cases, the technology costs are too high for smaller plants to invest in.
Increased energy efficiency at the mills makes sense not only for a company’s bottom line but to help the environment. Investing in efficiency also helps in reducing chemical consumption and a reduction in water usage.
The question is how can the plants incorporate energy efficiency with a reasonably cost-effective solution.
Pulp and paper mills use direct injection steam heaters to inject saturated steam. They do this to heat and maintain water like products to a certain temperature, dependent on the process requirement. They design it to handle a wide range of flow rates and deliver hot fluids at precise temperatures with 20-30% less energy than an indirect heat exchanger.
The mills use the Komax Direct Injection Steam Heaters to directly inject saturated steam. In order to heat and maintain water like products to a certain temperature, dependent on the process requirement. The Komax direct injection steam heater can achieve this because of their patented Equalizer Mixing module.
The Equalizer mixing module contains six parallel mixing chambers with Komax’s helical mixing elements. The elements allow the contacting of the steam and product for heating. These elements will then divide and recombine the process flow to form multiple impingent blending zones that produce high turbulence and small steam bubble sizes. This is where pulp stock and steam are contacted and mixed.
Komax developed the patent when a Canadian bleach mill contacted Komax to create a solution for their chlorine-free (TCF) sequence in response to market demands. They install these units in mills all around the world, performing without vibration and noise at high mixing efficiency. The Komax direct injection steam heater is vibration-free, which prolongs the life of a production line. The creation of this technology is a few years old, it is still popular in facilities today as a solution.
As the pulp and paper industry continues to grow, so will Komax’s technologies to support them in maintaining efficiency and energy savings.