Kraft pulp and paper mills generate large quantities of black liquor and byproduct biomass suitable for gasification. These fuels are used today for onsite cogeneration of heat and power in boiler/steam turbine systems. Gasification technologies under development would enable these fuels to be used in gas turbines. This paper reports results of detailed full-load performance modeling of pulp-mill cogeneration systems based on gasifier/gas turbine technologies and, for comparison, on conventional steam-turbine cogeneration technologies. Pressurized, oxygen-blown black liquor gasification, the most advanced of proposed commercial black liquor gasifier designs, is considered, together with three alternative biomass gasifier designs under commercial development (high-pressure air-blown, low-pressure air-blown, and low-pressure indirectly-heated). Heavy-duty industrial gas turbines of the 70-MWe and 25-MWe class are included in the analysis. Results indicate that gasification-based cogeneration with biomass-derived fuels would transform a typical pulp mill into a significant power exporter and would also offer possibilities for net reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide relative to present practice.

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