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By guest blogger Tara Janelli

Outage Learning

My Fall 2014 semester was spent on Co-op for Domtar in Ashdown, AR. My first week at work was amidst all of the “organized chaos” of preparing for their 2014 Mill Outage the following week. An outage provides one of the best opportunities to learn about a mill and the equipment. I got to go inside the lime kilns, the recovery boilers, and the different types of evaporators. This was by far one of the best experiences I had, just to be able to see how the inside of a machine worked was really eye-opening and educational.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetHands on Learning

After the outage, I was put into two areas of the mill to work in, Power & Recovery and the Pulp Mill. My favorite project that I worked on was trying to increase the lime mud solids coming off of the Pre-Coat filters. This was a big trouble-shooting project that made me experience my first mass balance ever – look out Chem E 205 – here I come! Where else can you learn something on the job before you learn it in class? I also was able to work with some great engineers who helped me along the way. The end results from the project increased the solids overall by 3%, the findings were presented at the end of the 2014 year and made a great impact on the mill savings. I learned a lot from this project and others I worked on too, the main thing I took from this experience was how much I loved being able to get hands on learning experience in the work world.