Topic: A high-fidelity model for coupling flow and mechanical deformation of the porous paper web
Abstract: The U.S. pulp and paper industry is the third-largest manufacturing user of energy, with an energy demand of 2,540 trillion Btu in 2010. Within the papermaking process, drying consumes over 400 trillion Btu annually, making it one of the largest energy-saving opportunities. In the 2014 Forest Products Industry Technology Roadmap, it was concluded that increasing the paper web solid content entering the dryer section from the current 45-55% to approaching 65%, which would save 1.0 MMBtu per ton or 20% of the energy used in drying. This significant reduction offers a more sustainable approach for manufacturing pulp and paper products. The Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance, a paper industry non-profit organization, will partner with LBL and LLNL to simulate and optimize the dewatering and rewetting operations in papermaking. A computational modeling framework will be developed incorporating improved physics and conceptual formulations to accurately simulate the flow of moisture from/to the porous pulp medium (dewatering/rewetting) during the pressing process in paper making. Through understanding the physics of this wicking process, we will develop processes that prevent the reabsorption of water by the compressed paper pulp, thereby significantly reducing the energy required for drying.
Not-for-Profit Performer: The Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance
National Laboratory: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory