CHE5291 - Engineering aspects of biomass pulping - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Chemical Engineering

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Mark Banaszak Holl


Professor Gil Garnier

Unit guides



  • Term 3 2018 (On-campus)


This unit will equip students with the ability to evaluate new developments in pulping and bleaching from an engineering perspective, to analyse the performance of current operations and to determine the cause of process malfunctions. To achieve these aims, this unit will examine the chemical engineering aspects of mechanical, chemical and other pulping processes; the various mechanical pulping processes (groundwood, RMP and TMP); the traditional kraft pulping process, the equipment, instruments and process models for this process and process control; modern variants of the kraft pulping process; the kraft recovery process; NSSC pulping; chemi-mechanical pulping processes; other minor pulping processes. Bleaching processes include: traditional bleaching, elemental chlorine free processes i.e. chlorine dioxide bleaching and total chlorine free processes including oxygen, hydrogen peroxide and ozone bleaching. Processes for brightening mechanical pulps will be included.


Learning objectives of this unit are that the student will:

  1. Acquire an increased knowledge and understanding of the chemical engineering aspects of:
    • Groundwood, RMP and TMP mechanical pulping processes
    • Penetration of liquid into chips
    • Chemi-mechanical pulping
    • 'Traditional' and advanced kraft pulping using batch and continuous digesters
    • Process models
    • Chemical recovery process for kraft pulping
    • NSSC pulping
    • Other pulping processes
    • Pulping of non-wood materials
    • Properties of fibres produced by the various processes
    • Bleaching processes
  2. Develop the skills required to:
    • Analyse new developments in pulping and bleaching processes and make appropriate and innovative recommendations
    • Keep up to date with developments in pulping and bleaching processes and assess their relevance to specific commercial operations
    • Conduct effective pulping, bleaching and other biomass process trials
  3. Demonstrate the ability to:
    • Undertake in depth research of the literature on a specific aspect of pulping or bleaching, analyse the information obtained and produce a report which demonstrates understanding and insight
    • Organise practical experiments, make detailed observations of experiments, analyse the results and produce an accurate and detailed report


Assignments and reports: 40%

Test: 10% (1 hour)

Final Examination: 50% (2 hours)

Workload requirements

28 hours lectures and 8 hours laboratory classes in a one week intensive, 115 hours private study.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study