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When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Cluster Rule in 1998, pulp and paper manufacturers industry-wide began to make operational adjustments to become compliant by April 2001. Aimed at reducing emissions, the Cluster Rule called for the introduction of uniform pollution prevention and control technologies.

For Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation, that meant a major reconfiguration of its bleached market pulp operation in Panama City, Florida, including extensive changes to its bleach plant. The corporation relied on BE&K Engineering Co. to identify cost-effective construction materials that would provide reliable performance in the harsh environment.

Specified materials, including industrial piping, had to demonstrate superior corrosion resistance to prevent premature system failure. And, in order to complete construction in time to meet the EPA’s tight deadline, these products needed to enable quick installation.

In a bleach plant setting, corrosion can actually occur both on the inside and the outside of the piping. The trick was to find a material that would address both types of corrosion in a satisfactory manner. - Dennis Myers, Principal Engineer at BE&K Engineering

For the recovery of the bleach plant’s spent scrubber effluent, BE&K specified Corzan® CPVC pipe over stainless-steel, carbon-steel and fiberglass (FRP) piping alternatives. In addition to its superior corrosion resistance properties, Corzan CPVC pipe offered fast, easy installation and increased cost efficiency over its metallic counterparts.


CPVC Stands Up to Corrosive Environments

Pipe and fittings constructed of durable chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) boast a number of superior performance characteristics, including a high heat distortion temperature and an inertness to most acids, bases, salts and aliphatic hydrocarbons. These properties make it ideal for processing harsh acidic and caustic solution at elevated temperatures.

The effluent solution in this particular application is the result of combining weak white liquor with a mixture of gases containing chlorine-dioxide residuals. With a pH of 9.9 and a temperature of 135°F, this solution is known to cause internal corrosion to metal pipe, which diminishes the service life of both carbon-steel and stainless-steel piping materials.

CPVC pipe offers corrosion resistance from the inside and out. Based on performance in this environment, we expect a much longer service life from the Corzan CPVC pipe as compared to carbon or stainless steel.

Plastic-lined FRP was another alternative, but Corzan CPVC offered advantages in simplicity, cost and size availability that went unmatched. - Dennis Myers



CPVC Offers Easier Installation and Maintenance

Inherently lightweight and much easier to support than metallic piping systems, CPVC piping can be quickly installed. The pipe and fittings are joined together using a solvent cement. The solvent cement creates a chemical reaction that fuses together the CPVC material. Once cured (after a few seconds), the seam becomes the strongest part of the system.

With solvent cement, a quick onsite walk through of the installation process is all the training required.   

We had to get this plant into operation immediately. Using Corzan CPVC, we were able to install a reliable system while keeping the construction schedule on track.

In addition, with Corzan piping, a branch line or other modification can be quickly installed if needed. And if a portion of the piping should receive some physical damage, the repair can be made easily, without the need for a welder or lifting device to hoist the piping into place. - Dennis Myers

By combining superior mechanical properties, longer service life, and lower installation and maintenance costs, Corzan CPVC provided BE&K with the complete system solution it sought for Smurfit-Stone's harsh industrial process.

The Corzan piping system offered us an excellent balance of qualities that produced quality, cost savings and simplicity in this application. We’re expecting excellent performance from the system for many years.- Dennis Myers


Want to Learn More About CPVC?

Metal piping materials have been historically chosen for industrial applications. However, with the rise of CPVC, installation can be done quicker and less expensively, and the pipe can experience a better overall lifetime value. Check out this report from Chemical Processing Magazine.