Maximizing pulp output and quality through measurement of plate gap temperature in high-consistency refining

Antti Fredrikson*, Jonni Paltakari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The largest mechanical pulp production units are high-consistency refiners. In the high-consistency refiners, in-situ measurements of pulp quality are rare. Temperature profile is one of the measurements that is industrially applicable to estimate pulp quality. It measures the steam temperature in the refining area-but how it can detect deteriorated pulp quality will be shown. This paper analyzed the high-consistency refiner plate temperature and its correlation to pulp quality in a 1.34 MW pilot-scale Sunds RGP-44 variable speed refiner in a variety of operating conditions and particularly at production rates close to maximum refiner capacity. The study showed that there was a narrow band of optimal refining conditions at the maximum refiner production level just before pulp quality drastically decreased. When the refiner was pushed above this optimal point of operation, the plate temperature rapidly increased above normal refining temperature, causing reduction of fiber length and consequently lower pulp strength and quality. Thus, refiner plate temperature measurement was found to be a quick way and an effective tool for preventing low-quality pulp production through overloading the refiner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2258-2278
Number of pages21
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Consistency
  • Energy efficiency
  • High-consistency refining
  • Plate gap
  • Temperature measurement
  • Thermomechanical pulping


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