The main objective of this work is to study the technical viability of using the effluent generated in paper machines (white water) in the wash presses of the bleaching stage, reducing fresh water consumption. As a case study, the industrial process of Ripasa S.A. Celulose e Papel was evaluated. White water rate is about 700 m3/h and it is not possible to reuse all this volume in the bleaching stage without causing operational problems (fouling in tubes and clogging in the screens). A mass balance of the bleaching unit was developed in an electronic spreadsheet in order to evaluate the possibility of reducing fresh water consumption, using only a fraction of the available white water in the wash presses. To achieve this objective some physical-chemistry properties of the white water stream and of other streams of the process were determined. The maximum concentration of some non-process elements (Si, Ca, Mn and Fe), which could accumulate in the process, were determined in order to establish some parameters to allow process integration of the streams involved, considering operational constraints. The results obtained have shown that it is possible to reduce approximately by 13% the consumption of fresh water and this methodology has been satisfactory.

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