Recovery boiler is the part of Kraft process of pulping where chemicals for white liquor are recovered and reformed from black liquor, which contains lignin from previously processed wood. The black liquor is burned, generating heat, which is usually used in the process or in making electricity, much as in a conventional steam power plant. The invention of the recovery boiler by G.H. Tomlinson in the early 1930s was a milestone in the advancement of the kraft process.
Recovery boilers are also used in the (less common) sulfite process of wood pulping; this article deals only with recovery boiler use in the Kraft process.
... to 65% or even 80% solids ("heavy black liquor") and burned in the recovery boiler to recover the inorganic chemicals for reuse in the pulping process ... the energy and chemical efficiency of the recovery cycle, but also gives higher viscosity and precipitation of solids (plugging and fouling of equipment) ... The molten salts ("smelt") from the recovery boiler are dissolved in a process water known as "weak wash" ...
... Recovery boilers have been the preferred mode of Kraft mill chemical recovery since the 1930s and the process has been improved considerably since the first generation ... There have been attempts to replace the Tomlinson recovery boiler with recovery systems yielding higher efficiency ... Even if new technology is able to compete with traditional recovery boiler technology the transition will most likely be gradual ...
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