Modelling of water removal during a paper vacuum dewatering process using a Level-Set method
2013 (English)In: Chemical Engineering Science, ISSN 0009-2509, E-ISSN 1873-4405, Vol. 101, 543-553 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Water removal in paper manufacturing is an energy-intensive process. The dewatering process generally consists of four stages of which the first three stages include mechanical water removal through gravity filtration, vacuum dewatering and wet pressing. In the fourth stage, water is removed thermally, which is the most expensive stage in terms of energy use.
In order to analyse water removal during a vacuum dewatering process, a numerical model was created by using a Level-Set method. Various different 2D structures of the paper model were created in MATLAB code with randomly positioned circular fibres with identical orientation. The model considers the influence of the forming fabric which supports the paper sheet during the dewatering process, by using volume forces to represent flow resistance in the momentum equation.
The models were used to estimate the dry content of the porous structure for various dwell times. The relation between dry content and dwell time was compared to laboratory data for paper sheets with basis weights of 20 and 50 g/m2 exposed to vacuum levels between 20 kPa and 60 kPa. The comparison showed reasonable results for dewatering and air flow rates. The random positioning of the fibres influences the dewatering rate slightly. In order to achieve more accurate comparisons, the random orientation of the fibres needs to be considered, as well as the deformation and displacement of the fibres during the dewatering process.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 101, 543-553 p.
Simulation, Multiphase flow, Level-Set method, Porous media, Microstructure, Vacuum dewatering
Research subject Environmental and Energy Systems
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-29705DOI: 10.1016/j.ces.2013.07.005ISI: 000323603700054OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-29705DiVA: diva2:657251