Catalytic upcycling paper sludge for the recovery of minerals and production of renewable high-grade biofuels and bio-based chemicals

Songbo He*, Anton Bijl, Leon Rohrbach, Qingqing Yuan, Dian Sukmayanda Santosa, Zhiwen Wang, Hero Jan Heeres, Gerrit Brem

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

4 Citaten (Scopus)
138 Downloads (Pure)


Paper sludge is a solid waste by-product abundantly produced in the paper industry and contains fine minerals and lignocellulosic biomass. In this contribution, the ex-situ catalytic fast pyrolysis of paper sludge with a high mineral content of ca. 71 wt% is reported for the first time and demonstrated in a pilot-scale unit (feeding rate of 11.3 kg h−1) using a granular Na2CO3/γ-Al2O3 catalyst (loading of 650 g) to produce a high-grade bio-oil at a fast pyrolysis temperature of 475 ± 5 °C (pre-screened using a pyroprobe) and a catalytic upgrading temperature of 500 °C. Besides, > 99 wt% minerals in the paper sludge could be recovered, including paper fillers such as CaCO3 (major) and talc. The bio-oil obtained at a carbon yield of 21 C.% has a low oxygen content of 3.2 wt%, a low total acidity number of 5.2 mg KOH g−1, low H2O content of 0.7 wt%, and a high higher heating value of 40.9 MJ kg−1. It consists of value-added bio-based chemicals such as paraffins, olefins, and low molecular weight aromatics. The results demonstrate that the use of paper sludge to recover minerals and to obtain fuels and chemicals using ex-situ catalytic pyrolysis is technically feasible at a pilot plant scale, which will be of importance for the development of future bio-based economy.

Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftChemical Engineering Journal
Nummer van het tijdschriftPart 1
StatusPublished - 15-sep-2021

Citeer dit