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Closed cellulose

Unique ecological solutions of the Selenga pulp and paper mill - in the material of the special project "Ecology of the Far East"

At the Selenga pulp and paper mill in Buryatia, at the outset of the Soviet Union, a unique technical solution was realized - a closed water circulation system that makes it possible to abandon sewage into natural water bodies and save significantly on water intake. Since then, this enterprise remains almost the only such industry example in the world.

Closed cellulose
Selenginsky cellulose-cardboard is the "younger brother" of the Baikal Pulp and Paper Mill (BPPM). Both of these "dirty" industries, built off the shores of Lake Baikal in the 1960-ies, immediately became objects of fair hatred and violent attacks on the environmental community. But if the BPPM dumped its sewage, even though it passed through several degrees of purification, directly to the lake, then in 1990, a system of closed water rotation was put into operation in the Selenga Central Control Center. And since then it is working properly.

Thanks to this system, the enterprise, built 4 km from the left bank of the Selenga River and 60 km from Lake Baikal, managed to completely abandon the discharge of industrial wastewater into these unique water bodies, without reducing the quality of products. A powerful complex of treatment facilities, built next to the plant, carries out three-stage treatment - biological, chemical, and then additional treatment in neutralization sedimentation tanks and ponds. Not so long ago, the Kislorod.LIFE editorial board was able to personally see all this unique farm.

Alexander Lukyanov, head of the department for nature protection, labor and industrial safety, has been working at the plant since Soviet times. And he remembers the launch of a drainless production scheme, unique for the industry, as if it happened not three decades ago, but quite recently. One way or another, but the Central Control Commission went to this event almost from the very beginning of its construction, from 1956. For about three years, a pulp and viscose production facility was built at the site selected in Selenginsk, but then it was abandoned and the future mill was redesigned to produce cardboard.

According to Wikipedia, the choice of the construction site "was due to the availability of sufficient forest resources in the republic, the lack of timber consumers, the developed transport network, the available building materials and the proximity of the coal deposit." "Next to Transsib, a federal highway from Moscow to Vladivostok, the river Selenga. At that time, Zabaikalles, which harvested and processed up to six million cubic meters of timber a year, was used in Buryatia and used up to 98% of these volumes. In this association, in addition to wood processing, the production of fiberboard and chipboard, and chips - in fact, waste - they supplied to the plant. We also used third-grade wood and so-called technological wood. That is, roughly speaking, the Central Control Commission stood at the end of this long chain, "Lukyanov said. If you say more scientifically, the plant was built as a recycling enterprise for sawmilling and woodworking wastes. Today this role is no longer played by the Central Control Commission, and provides itself with raw materials at the expense of coniferous and deciduous forests of Buryatia, the Irkutsk Region and Transbaikalia.

The basis of cardboard production is cooking - in the shop is produced over 100 thousand tons of sulphate unbleached pulp per year. It is worth recalling that BPPM produced bleached sulphide pulp - this is a significant difference between the two enterprises. "We have unbleached cardboard, we do not use chlorine. And in this respect, we were initially significantly, if you can so to speak, purer than the BPPM, "Lukyanov recalled. The CCC was designed at a pulp cooking capacity of 290 thousand tons, and for the production of container board - 282 thousand tons per year. But the enterprise was being built for a long time: in order to reduce the risks from the plant's location in the 9-tibial seismic zone, it was necessary to conduct a huge amount of excavation work.

Design capacity is constantly revised. 25 April 1973 was tested under the load on cellulose, which was brought from Baikalsk, to a cardboard machine K-07. She issued the first product - commercial pulp. 30 June of the same year, the plant was officially commissioned - with the capacity of the first stage in the amount of 145 thousand tons of pulp and 140 thousand tons of cardboard per year. In 1980, paint production was started (linseed oil, rosin, enamels, etc.), in 1990, production of corrugated packaging, boxes, paper bags, etc. was launched.

The system of closed water circulation, Lukyanov explains, allows the plant to practically use the same water indefinitely.

In June of 1973, a complex of treatment facilities was put into operation at the Central Control Commission, with the help of which the enterprise managed to minimize the harmful impact of effluents on the Baikal ecosystem. But the very location of the plant, as well as the presence on the other bank of the BPPM, which became the main target of the environmental movement, led to a constant strengthening of environmental protection requirements. Baikalsk worked for the defense industry, and it was difficult to "close" it. At any time, the cardboard combine could be made a "sacred sacrifice" and calm the public.

"As early as December of 1975, if I am not mistaken, a resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR on the establishment of a closed water circulation system at the Selenga Central Control Commission was issued. We were asked to figure out how to eliminate wastewater discharges into the Selengu River. Otherwise, we simply threatened to close, "- says Alexander Lukyanov. A number of governmental resolutions were adopted, fixed deadlines were fixed, funding was allocated - in the USSR, otherwise such cases were not done. According to Lukyanov, such a system could not be created at the BPPM (although there they tried and even, it seems, something like that was launched): "There is bleaching with the use of chlorine compounds, which can not be purified or decomposed. They can only be accumulated. We also had a lot of our specific problems, but we all decided and the closed water system was implemented on time. "

The developer of technological solutions was the All-Union Scientific and Production Organization "Bumprom" (VNPO "Bumprom"), and the main designer was the State Institute for Designing Enterprises of the pulp and paper mill in Siberia and the Far East (Sibgiprobum), which designed the plant at the start. There were no analogues of similar productions in the world, everything had to be developed for the first time. The very problem of creating a closed water circulation was solved through the separation of sewage by the nature of the pollution and, accordingly, by the method of their purification.

The first step was not difficult to take - in September 1981, household waste treatment facilities were commissioned, to which water from toilets and showers was used. This was also important from the point of view of the epidemiological safety of production and the prevention of bacterial contamination of products. Then the effluent had to be divided into thermally polluted and polluted with wood processing products. They had to be separated into separate streams, and after that they had to be directed to treatment facilities specially created for each stream. As the newspaper “Novaya Buryatia” described back in 2011, “thermal pollution” “means ordinary hot water, at the same time chemically and biologically pure. It is cooled by spraying in five cooling towers. Chilled water is constantly raining from these units, which is then fed to condense the secondary vapors of the evaporator plants and the turbine generator. This water has no contact with the polluting medium, it only heats up, and then goes back to cooling in the cooling tower. So this circle is closed. Part of the water in cooling towers evaporates according to the laws of physics, this natural loss is restored due to the original water.

But it turned out to be difficult to return industrial wastewater to production. Scientists were looking for a solution, the plant worked until April 13, 1987, a joint resolution of the Council of Ministers and the Central Committee of the CPSU No. 434 "On measures to ensure the protection of Lake Baikal" was issued, indicating that in 1991 the Selenginsky Central Control Commission should stop discharging treated waste water into the Selenga River. It was necessary to mobilize the efforts of industry and academic science, a permanent technical council was created at the plant from the specialists of the enterprise. RAS Academician Mikhail Grachev, who for many years headed the Limnological Institute of the SB RAS, recalled in an interview about those times of storm and onslaught. “Then the decision was made: production workers with representatives of science should jointly develop an action plan. But, unfortunately, science has not recommended anything good. The lion's share of the "transition" was carried out by the workers themselves. Alexey Goncharov, chief engineer of Sibgiprobum, rendered a great deal of assistance. The plant's specialists proposed and implemented a rather simple idea: to return the salts back to production through a soda recovery boiler ", - this is how the most authoritative scientist assessed the work of the plant workers.

The result of the first stage of the closed water cycle was the reduction of sewage discharge to 242,6 cubic meters per hour. At the same time, the mineralization of effluents had to rise from 0,75 g / liter to 4,8 g / liter, mainly due to sodium sulphate. This would lead to a sharp increase in the sulfate corrosion of concrete and the destruction of all communications of the plant. Various scientific organizations proposed seven variants of demineralization of effluents, which included both the return of sulfates to production and their withdrawal from the water circulation system. For this purpose, it was suggested to use membrane technologies with reverse osmosis, to freeze the drains or to dispose of them in underground horizons.

"The decision on the use of mineralized water and the return of sodium sulphate to the balance of liquors was found at the technical council of the combine," recalls Lukyanov. Specialists of the Central Control Commission invented and patented a unique method for demineralizing waste water and returning sulphates to the regeneration stream of liquors, replacing the condensate of evaporating plants in the washing of cellulose in the cooking plant and sludge in the causticization and regeneration of liquors to heated cleaned sewage, Discharge of even treated sewage in Selengu.

The historical event happened 3 August 1990 year, one year before the deadline set by the resolution of the Council of Ministers and the CPSU Central Committee. "In addition, we upgraded the recovery boilers: instead of cascade evaporators, black liquor concentrators were installed; Electrofilters were mounted. The result of these works was a reduction in the consumption of sulphate from 120 kg to 12-14 kg per ton of pulp, "- says Alexander Lukyanov.

It was also possible to avoid additional emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere. Water consumption decreased to 4 million cubic meters per year, gas-dust emissions - from 18 thousand to 4,8 thousand tons annually. In addition, significant work has been done to maximize the utilization of production waste generated at the enterprise and to reuse them. The group of developers of this project was awarded the USSR State Prize in the field of science and technology. The chief technologist of the SCCC, Yevgeny Goncharov, told the Novaya Buryatia newspaper in 2011 that the transfer to the closed cycle saved the enterprise, as energy consumption decreased by 10 times and energy costs decreased ("instead of the old huge pumps, more economical ones were installed"). In addition, since the construction of the plant, Selenga left the plant for 4 km, and the amount of water in the pods has decreased - in the end, it would have been necessary to pull the water conduit, which is very expensive, or to dig a channel that is prohibited in the spawning river.

Lukyanov recalls that when there were two streams operating at the Central Control Commission, about 67 million cubic meters of water passed through the sewage treatment plants annually. Volumes comparable to a large lake. The system of closed water circulation, Lukyanov explains, allows the plant to practically use the same water indefinitely. However, for help to Selenga, you still have to apply: from the water withdrawal limit of 4 million cubic meters, the CCC takes about 2,8 million cubes of fresh water annually. "On the island of Dolgy there is a water intake, we take fresh underflow water only for the needs of CHP: for the production of steam and for cooling the condensers of turbines. Then we use the same water to make up the circulating water. Settling grounds have large areas and large evaporation from the ponds, and water losses must be replenished, otherwise the treatment plant of the plant will not be able to work normally. As a result of the measures carried out at the plant, we reached the water consumption indicator - 14 cubic meters of water per ton of produced pulp. "

Even at the entrance to Selenginsk, a whole gallery of different sizes and shapes of pipes rush into the eyes, from which rolls of white and gray smoke

The unique treatment facilities represent a giant structure that works around the clock and without stops (except for those sad periods when the Central Control Commission "got up" for economic reasons, the last time it happened in 2013 year). Industrial wastewater is cleaned in three stages. The first is biological treatment. This helps microorganisms - bacteria, protozoa and a number of more highly organized organisms. They are able to oxidize organic substances in the process of their vital activity. Then the water goes to chemical cleaning, where the pollution is precipitated by using a coagulant of aluminum sulphate and a flocculant - polyacrylamide.

The third step for pulp and paper industry enterprises is unique - we are talking about additional treatment in neutralization septic tanks and ponds. There is the deposition of pollution in the sediment and their complete removal. After neutralization, the treated effluents enter the ponds-aerators. By the way, before they were saturated with oxygen there - it was necessary before being discharged to Selenga. But with a closed system, this was abandoned, since the oxygenated water (“living water”) supplied to the production leads to the fact that the plant’s communications are overgrown with biological species.

As Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Arnold Tulokhonov admitted a few years ago, “except for atmospheric emissions, the Selenginsky pulp and paper mill does not negatively affect the ecological situation”. Lukyanov emphasizes: “We have resolved the issue with water, there are no complaints against us. We have a small fence from the Selenga, there is no discharge into it ”.

Does this mean that the TsKK has no problems? Of course not. "The problem that we solve is dust and gas emissions that enter the atmosphere from a coal-fired power plant, as well as from technological workshops from soda-regeneration boilers. Cooking pulp - it's pretty dirty, and with the smell of production, too, you need to fight. People are more confused by the smell than the harmfulness of these gases. In the future, we plan to collect all gas leakages and dispose of them by burning. In the plans there is still the installation of a gas-fired boiler, "says Lukyanov.

By emissions, by the way, the Central Control Commission is not a giant. What is discordant with the external appearance of the enterprise - even at the entrance to Selenginsk, a whole gallery of different sizes and shapes of pipes are thrown into view, from which rolls of white and gray smoke. The picture is fascinating, impressive, but also frightening - it seems that nothing more harmful in such a natural oasis can not be. In fact, SCCC annually throws out slightly more than 5 thousand tons of harmful substances into the atmosphere. With the fact that according to MPE he is allowed to throw twice as much. Of course, the fact that the company stopped the second stream in the 1990-ies was also affected; Now they are putting a new, Chinese equipment. When the Central Control Commission is fully operational, there will be more emissions. But they are ready for this at the enterprise.

As noted in the report of the BIP of the SB RAS in 2009, the reduction of dust and gas emissions from SCNC has been carried out since the beginning of the 1990: "Black liquor concentrators have been put into operation, soda recovery boilers have been installed with the installation of electrostatic precipitators with an 99% recovery efficiency, upgraded the gas cleaning equipment of the power part of the TPP , Brewhouse, by-product plant, evaporation plant. Currently, the plant is constantly working to reduce emissions into the atmosphere of harmful solid, liquid and gaseous substances. The efficiency of the SRK filters (recovery boilers) is 98-99%, the efficiency of the scrubbers of power boilers is 96-98%. The company employs 22 facilities for cleaning pollutant emissions into the atmosphere, including six gas emission treatment plants, seven dry dust cleaning plants, nine wet emission cleaning plants with both particulate matter and gaseous substances. "

Combined heat and power plant of the combine - three turbo units according to 12 MW each - produces 536 tons of steam per hour, for Selenginsk needs about a third (for heating and hot water heating). Considering that the station is operating on coal, it is not difficult to guess what exactly the pipe suits the atmosphere. The plans are to reduce fuel consumption (today it exceeds 300-350 thousand tons of coal per year), which is also beneficial for economic reasons. The fact is that the proximity to coal deposits, mentioned in Wikipedia as one of the factors for choosing a site for the construction of the plant, was not a plus. CHP was designed to work on coals from the Irkutsk region - from there they are still carried, by rail. In the years of the planned economy, this situation did not bother anyone; But today it turns out to be unnecessary costs. To reduce the consumption of coal, it is already mixed with bark and wood waste.

“We strive to minimize our influence on Lake Baikal. But any industrial enterprise somehow still affects the environment, so we are implementing a program to transfer the plant to biofuel boilers. That is, we will replace our coal-fired boilers with boilers operating on solid forest fuel. This will reduce gas and ash emissions, and will also help to utilize bark and sawdust from numerous sawmills in a 150-kilometer zone around the plant, ”said Lilia Deeva, general director of the JCCC, during a visit to the plant by the acting head of Buryatia Alexey Tsydenova.

Biofuel boiler with an output of 70 tons of steam per hour, according to plans, should be earned already in 2018 year. "Wood burned by emissions is much safer than coal. If we put such a biofuel boiler, we can save about 40 thousand tons of fuel per year, accordingly, the amount of emissions will also decrease. In addition, we will save on the other. Today, we pay for purchased wood in the form of balances or chips for the volumes supplied, but when debarking balances and then sorting chips, about 12% of wood (small fraction of chips, bark) is sent to waste. But money was paid for them! So it is better to burn these wastes, especially since the calorific value of bark burning is comparable to the calorific value of brown coal, "says Lukyanov.

Cherry on the cake: a biofuel boiler will help to solve another problem - the processing of rainfall accumulated in sewage treatment plants. So far, they are stored in five maps of the sludge accumulator, and with the introduction of a biofuel boiler it will be possible to use them as fuel.

The state of the ash and slag clarifier remains a problem - the main source of pollution of groundwater. The plans are to create "interception wells" in the most problematic areas, which will return the leaked muddy water back to the sedimentation tank and thereby prevent the sulphate from entering groundwater. Great investments are also required for the modernization of soda-regeneration boilers. "The pulp and paper industry has always been and will be a dirty production, this can not be avoided. But Russia has signed the Kyoto Protocol, and since then we have been "dancing" for this business: we are rebuilding the production that was created by 40 years ago - at another time, when there were other requirements and standards. The United States sneezed at the Kyoto Protocol, and we have tightened environmental requirements for enterprises. In theory, it is necessary to introduce partial financing or return of funds from environmental charges to those enterprises that introduce "green" technologies, improve production parameters. Well, at least something compensate us! "- says Lukyanov.

The system of closed water circulation is a unique, but very expensive, its functioning contributes almost a third of the costs to the final cost of production. “In the recent past, the Japanese came to us, looked at everything and said that they did not clean the water in such a way. Because it is very expensive. And it is easier for them, according to them, to pay for discharges of not sufficiently cleaned drains than to clean the water exactly as we do. ” However, Alexander Lukyanov stresses that today, no one speaks of opening the back-drain system again.
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