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black liquor recovery using direct steam injection

67% Black Liquor

Flow Rate:
80 GPM [22 m³/hr]

Inlet Temperature:
180°F [82°C]

Discharge Temperature:
250°F [121°C]

Fluid Supply Pressure:
65 PSIG [4.5 bar]

Steam Supply Pressure:
150 PSIG [10.3 barg]

Steam Superheat:
Yes, to 400°F [204°C]

Designed for severe service liquor heating

Mead Paper in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA, needed to eliminate severe vibration and hammering caused by an existing black liquor heater on gun loop to the recovery boiler.

The previously installed direct contact steam heater was a one-of-akind, simple in-line sparging device. Because of inadequate condensing capabilities and external control of mass steam flow rate, unstable heating and rough operation caused damage to associated piping and fittings. This is not an uncommon problem when heating heavy black liquor with an improperly designed direct contact steam heater.


Hydro-Thermal engineers chose the K412AS Hydroheater® installed prior to the gun loop on the recovery boiler. The Hydroheater heats black liquor to the optimum temperature to maintain proper nozzle pattern and droplet size for maximum burn efficiency. The Hydroheater was designed for severe service liquor heating and eliminates the problems of hammering and fouling.

Mead is experiencing smooth, quiet and stable operation. The severe vibration problem was eliminated. The temperature of the black liquor is precisely controlled at 250°F [121°C]. After the Hydroheater had been installed for more than six months, no downtime for maintenance or cleaning had been necessary.


• Eliminate severe vibration and hammer
• Regulate condensing capabilities
• Reduce maintenance and equipment damage


• Eliminated hammering and fouling
• Optimal temperature control
• Achieved stable operation




Are you curious about our patented direct steam injection technology? Click here to learn more.

Are you wondering what applications are ideal for direct steam injection? See the Where It Works section for the a list of industries.

Do you want to learn more about our products? Click here for more information.

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Hydro-Thermal is the global leader in the development and manufacturing of Hydroheaters. Through our vast global channel partners, we support hydro heating in six continents and all industrialized areas. We create heating systems for a variety of industries including: pulp, paper, chemical, ethanol, food & beverage, metal, & more!

Hydro-Thermal Corporation 

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