Conversion of Paper Mill Residuals to Fermentable Sugars

Malek Alkasrawi, Zayed Al-Hamamre, Mohammad Al-Shannag, Md Joynal Abedin, Eric Singsaas


The state of Wisconsin has existing pulp mill infrastructure capable of converting wood into biofuel and value-added products such as lumber, pulp, and paper. Each day, pulp and paper mills produce a waste material that is commonly referred to as sludge. Sludge is typically sent to a landfill or concentrated for burning to produce steam. The primary material present in pulp and paper mill sludge is fiber, which is mostly cellulose. This study showed how to convert pulp mill waste to fermentable sugars using commercially available enzymes. Preliminary economic analysis has shown that sludge can be converted into a fermentable sugar with chemicals costing less than $0.10 per pound of sugar produced.


Enzymatic hydrolysis; Paper sludge; Hydrogen peroxide; Saccharification; Biofuel

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