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Pulp mill expands production with WEDECO

At the world’s largest pulp mill, Xylem’s WEDECO ozone systems keep two pulp bleach lines operating with more than 99 percent availability.

Fibria, the world’s largest pulp company, runs two lines that use ozone to bleach pulp at its mill in Jacarei, Brazil. One line, operated by WTA Cellulose, performed flawlessly with an overall availability rate of 99.8 percent, meaning it was able to provide ozone whenever it was needed.  The second line, operated by a different company, frequently missed its target availability rate.

Fibria sought bids for a new contract to achieve more reliable performance and also to optimize its production operations. WTA Cellulose submitted a bid using its secret weapon for reliability – a WEDECO ozone system. They won the contract. Fibria’s bleaching line is now equipped exclusively with Xylem’s WEDECO ozone systems. 

Ozone is a form of elemental oxygen and a very reactive gas with many commercial and industrial uses. It is often used as a more environmentally friendly alternative to chlorine or chlorine dioxide to bleach wood pulp in the manufacture of high-quality, white paper. Due to its high reactivity, ozone is very unstable and cannot be stored. It therefore has to be generated at the point of use. Ozone is produced from industrial oxygen in special ozone generators.

Xylem is the leading manufacturer of ozone systems for bleaching cellulose pulp. WEDECO brand ozone generators are the overwhelming choice of design engineers and end-users worldwide where reliable and efficient production of large ozone quantities is required. 

At the Fibria plant Xylem installed a Z-Compact System, specifically designed for pulp and paper mills. “Many companies supply ozone generator systems, but very few are able to meet the specific requirements of pulp and paper applications,” says Dr. Jean-Christophe Hostachy, Director Pulp and Paper, for Xylem’s WEDECO ozone systems unit. “Our Z-Compact System can be perfectly adapted to pulp mill constraints such as space limitation and aggressive ambient onsite air conditions.”

The ozone is used at the Fibria pulp mill to bleach 3,600 tons of eucalyptus pulp per day. The pulp is used as raw material for producing different paper grades in several other Fibria paper production plants. Fibria exports the paper to several countries including China and the United States.

“Because of our in-depth expertise in pulp bleaching applications combined with our efficient and highly reliable ozone systems, our customers recognize us as a premier solution provider,” says Franz-Josef Richardt, Manager of Ozone Sales Support for WEDECO products and a specialist for pulp bleaching applications. “With this project, we again have designed a system tailor-made for our customer’s needs that combines the best environmental performance and process efficiency at the best cost.”

by Millie Rogers