2015-Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit
SIPS 2015 Volume 9: Physics, Advanced Materials, Multifunctional Materials

Editors:Kongoli F, Dubois JM, Gaudry E, Fournee V, Marquis F
Publisher:Flogen Star OUTREACH
Publication Year:2015
Pages:275 pages
ISSN:2291-1227 (Metals and Materials Processing in a Clean Environment Series)
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    First Principles Study on the Electrochemical Valorization of Black Liquor

    Raisa Oliveira1; Margarida Mateus1; Diogo Santos1;
    Type of Paper: Regular
    Id Paper: 361
    Topic: 21


    Black liquor is a pulp mill effluent from wood cooking and has a solid content of 15-18% (weak black liquor), which is mostly lignin, an organic compound that finds wide applications in the market. Black liquor is currently used for steam generation purposes, by burning it, which is not an efficient process due to the undifferentiated combustion of the liquor, losing most of the lignin potential. Considering the world’s energy picture, it is essential to develop sustainable energy generation alternatives, including through waste recovery. Having this in mind, the current work focuses on the electrolysis of black liquor for energy recovery. The process has several economic and environmental advantages, as it simultaneously generates a clean fuel (hydrogen) and a precipitated material with economic value (lignin). The generated hydrogen can be fed to a fuel cell that partially powers the electrolysis plant, thereby decreasing the electricity costs. Herein, platinum (Pt) and nickel (Ni) bulk electrodes are tested for black liquor electrolysis. Cyclic voltammetry, chronoamperometry, and chronopotentiometry are used to study the lignin anodic oxidation at the Pt and Ni electrodes. Kinetic and diffusional parameters are calculated (e.g., charge transfer and diffusion coefficients, number of exchanged electrons). The hydrogen evolution reaction in the black liquor is also evaluated at room temperature. Finally, a small-scale laboratory black liquor electrolyzer using Ni plates, both for anode and for cathode, is assembled and its operation parameters are evaluated.


    black liquor electrolysis; wastewater treatment; lignin recovery


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    Oliveira R, Mateus M, Santos D. First Principles Study on the Electrochemical Valorization of Black Liquor. In: Kongoli F, Dubois JM, Gaudry E, Fournee V, Marquis F, editors. Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit SIPS 2015 Volume 9: Physics, Advanced Materials, Multifunctional Materials. Volume 9. Montreal(Canada): FLOGEN Star Outreach. 2015. p. 171-184.