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Major identified sources of waste in pulp & paper industry are from: a) Separator b) Washing tank c) Bleaching stages

d) Paper machine

a) From separator: The loosened cellulosic fibres from digester are separated from black liquor which is a waste product containing lignin , resin, noncellulosic materials & unutilized chemicals in the digester. b) From washing tank: The separated cellulosic fibres are washed which produce waste water known as brown stock wash.

c) From bleaching tanks: The washed cellulosic fibres are sent for bleaching in 3 stages, where chlorine,caustic & hypochlorite are used in successive stages. The waste produced from the first & last stages is light yellow in colour where from the second stage is highly coloured .

d) From paper machine: The bleached pulp is then sent for the paper mill where the final product paper is produced. The drained water from this mill section often called as white water forms the waste water which contains fine fibres, alum, talc etc.

besides those mentioned above , a small volume of waste water is also produced when the bark is removed from the raw water & later is reduced to chips by wet process.


Item Small mill Large mill Produce 20 tonnes of Produce 2000 tonnes paper/day of paper/day Flow per day 330 m/tonne 222 m/tonne



7800 units
8.5 9.5

Total solids, mg/l

Suspended solids, mg/l



C.O.D., mg/l
B.O.D., mg/l



COD/BOD ratio



The treatment of waste may consist of all or a combination of some of the following processes:

a) Treatment for recovery

b) Physical treatment c) Chemical treatment d) Biological treatment e) Lagooning f) Land treatmant method

g) Disposal of the waste by irrigation

Following are generally adopted recoveries:

(1) Chemical recovery (from black liquor) (2) Lime recovery (from lime mud) (3) Fine fibres recovery (from white liquor)

(1) Chemical Recovery:

- The black liquor from the separator is concentrated by evaporation.

- Then its incinerated with addition of sodium sulphate. - The organics like lignin, resin etc., are burnt out & the smelt is dissolved in water. - The resulting liquor is known as GREEN LIQUOR . - Lime is now added ,resulting in the formation of WHITE LIQUOR & LIME MUD . -Thus, the obtained white liquor is sent for use in digester.

(2) LIME RECOVERY: - The lime mud obtained contains chiefly calcium

- It is then calcined to form calcium oxide , which is reused to recaustic other green liquors into white liquors. -This is not practiced in INDIA due to undesirable

content of silica in it.


- The fibres are recovered either by sedimentation or by floatation using force in the tank. -Some very toxic waste material are also generated during the process.

Chemical recovery from black liquor toxic material like dimethyl sulphide, methyl mercaptan etc., also comes out with digester relief gases , & forms a colour-less waste water after condensation.

It is required to separate the suspended matter by phsical operations like

# Sedimentation
# Floatation -Mechanically cleaned circular clarifiers remove 70-80% of suspended

-About 95-99% removal of settleable solids can be accomplished in the clarifiers. -BOD reduction is 25-40% only. - The primary sludge produced in the clarifiers can be thickened to a consistency that can be easily dewatered mechanically.

- MASSIVE LIME TREATMENT process , developed by the national council for stream improvement in USA is said to be capable of removing 90% of colour & 40 to 60% of BOD from waste. -Entire quantity of lime is first reacted with the colour waste effluent. -Colour is absorbed by lime & sludge after settling is used in recausticising. -This results in the formation of dark brown liquor containing lignin, etc. -This liquor is used as digester liquid, & then is destroyed along with fresh lignin in subsequent operations of concentration & incineration

in the process of chemical recovery.

# Acidic activated carbon can remove 94% colour from the

pulp mill waste .(Observed by NEERI) # pH of the waste required to be reduced to 3.0 before the treatment.

Considerable reduction of BOD can be accomplished in both conventional & low cost biological treatment.

Some are also effective in reduction of colour.

If sufficient area is available, the waste stabilization ponds offer the cheapest means.

Depth of pond-0.9-1.5m & Detention period -12 to 30 days.

85% of BOD is removed with a loading rate upto 56kg/hectare/day.

These are the improved forms of the stabilization ponds ,adopted to upgrade the performance. The mechanical surface aerators are the most satisfactory oxygen transfer device.

BOD reduction of 50-95% can be achieved by varying nutrients feed, air supply & detention time , at a loading rate of 670-1340 kg/hectare/day.
Nitrogen & Phosphorus are to be added into lagoons in the form of urea or ammonia & phosphoric acid in BOD:N:P ratio of 100:5:1 as the pulp & paper mill waste does not contain necessary nutrients. Segregated strong waste or combined wastes may be well treated in anaerobic lagoons with a loading rate of 0.048 kg/m3/day & detention period of 20 days is adequate to remove 72.5% of BOD. 77.5% removal is reported at a detention time of 6-8 days & loading of 0.017kg BOD/m3/day.

It is the most satisfactory & sophisticated process for effluent treatment.

Instead of porous diffusers , the surface aerators are often suggested. 80-90% removal is reported with a loading rate of 0.2-0.3 kg of BOD / kg of MLSS at a detention time of 3-9 hrs, MLSS concentration of 2000-4000 mg/l, recirculation ratio of 0.3-0.5. Trickling filter has got a limited use in the treatment, due to greater chances of clogging of media with fibrous material.

Trickling system is also incapable to provide a high degree of treatment.

When black liquor is not treated separately for chemical recovery ,it must Be segregated from the other wastes & stored in a lagoon . The content may be discharged into stream under favourable conditions in

# Some type of soil is capable of removing colour from the waste.

# The waste is stored & allowed to be absorbed in such

a soil. # The capability of soil in removing depends on cation exchange capacity of the soil. # In addition, soil should be suuficiently permeable to accept the entire volume of the waste.

The pulp mill effluent may be utilized for irrigation. No adverse effect on crops are reported for crops like

maize, paddy, jowar & kenaf.

Yield almost identical to that with conventional irrigation practices is reported for wheat & sugarcane.