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CitecCTO - Mäntyöljylaitos

Innovations make tall oil hot

Crude tall oil is an important by-product for the pulp industry. By dusting off an old method and adding modern automation, Citec has developed a cost-effective plant model for the production of crude tall oil – CitecCTO.

The markets for tall oil have blossomed lately. Tall oil is a residual product of pulp mills that provides the mills with an additional income. The fact that biodiesel can be produced from tall oil has increased the demand on the market. There is great potential for new tall oil plants in the northern hemisphere, especially in Europe, where wood is refined to cellulose and tall oil is generated as a by-product.

Many tall oil plants in need of renewal
Many of today’s tall oil plants were built a long time ago and hence adapted to the automation level and personnel structure of that time. Therefore, there are many tall oil plants that are in need of renewal.

In many of the pulp mills in Europe, tall oil is produced using the method whereby the tall oil is extracted from soap in a continuous process. When the Swedish pulp and paper company, BillerudKorsnäs Frövi, wanted to convert its outdated tall oil plant to a new one, Citec received the assignment to develop a new, modern plant.

Citec compared the plants that existed in the market then, looked at the old models, and developed a new type of plant that is based on a tested, robust technology but is controlled with modern automation technology.

New kind of tall oil plant – CitecCTO
The result was a new kind of tall oil plant; CitecCTO (Crude Tall Oil). The first one was started in 2007, and a main difference compared to other tall oil plants is that the continuous process is replaced with batch-wise process. This change results in better availability, quality, and profitability. Variations in the soap can be handled better with simple measuring and controlling methods, as an entire manufacturing lot is cooked at once.

A more economical plant concept
CitecCTO plant concept is more economical compared to competitors’ plants, due to its higher yield and improved availability. Furthermore, it handles fluctuations and starts/stops better, requires less maintenance and offers lower running costs.

Dig into more details in the CitecCTO presentation.