UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Detoxification of bleached kraft mill effluents by foam separation Ng, Kong Seng


Foam separation has been successfully developed on a 4-1 laboratory column, an 80-1 field column installation and a 6000 gal pilot plant trough type system as a novel process for detoxifying bleached kraft mill effluents. Toxic surface active materials such as resin and unsaturated fatty acids collect at the gas-liquid interface of rising air bubbles and concentrate in the foam. The highly toxic collapsed foam represents 1-2% by volume of the influent and is subsequently detoxified by biological treatment. Process parameters controlling detoxification efficiency are pH, gas-liquid interfacial area, initial toxicity level and mode of operation. The gas-liquid interfacial area and pH are of utmost importance. For a typical effluent with MST of 3-4 hr, approximately 20-2 30 m²/l of interfacial area given to an effluent at pH > 7.0 are required for detoxification. Foam separation is universally applicable and reliable for detoxifying kraft whole mill effluent. Over 80% of 205 samples from 10 Canadian mills were detoxified. A 1 gal/min, one and two stage continuous flow systems detoxified over 90% of samples at pH 8 and 1-2 hr retention time over 80 days of operation period. Study of detoxification mechanism indicated that foam fractionation accounts for 77.5% of detoxification, volatization for 5.4% and unidentified mechanisms for 17.1%. Depending on the mode of operation, up to 5% of effluent volume was discharged as foam. The foam volume could be reduced to < 2% by increasing foam retention time and enhancing internal reflux. Collapsed foam was readily detoxified by a biodisc or aerated lagoon process. In addition to detoxification, foam separation removed 20-60% of suspended solids, 66% resin acids, 12% B0D5 (10% TOC), 8% color and 80% foaming tendency. Suspended solids removal could be increased to 88% if an expensive dissolved air system were used for bubble generation. Commercially available equipment for foam generation and foam breaking was reviewed. Jet aerators and turbine systems were assessed as most suitable for commercial application. Pilot plant evaluation of this equipment indicated that reliable and consistent operation could be obtained. The results were used to establish empirical formulae for use in process scale up. During a 4 month continuous flow study, approximately 5-7 m²/l of gas-liquid interfacial area was provided to detoxify 80-100 gal/min of mill A effluent with MST of 6-10 hr. The detoxification success rate of a large number of samples increased from 50 to 86 and to 100% as the operation changed from 1 to 2 to 3 stages. The foam produced by the pilot plant was collapsed by a 12" diameter turbine at 100% efficiency all the time. Costs of foam separation were examined for a projected 3 stage foam separation process, treating 25 M gal/day of bleached kraft whole mill effluent. Capital costs for pH control, foam generation, foam breaking and foam treatment were estimated at $2.26 M. Operating costs were estimated at $2.35/ton of pulp.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.