Bioconversion of paper mill sludge to bioethanol in the presence of accelerants or hydrogen peroxide pretreatment

Raghu Nandan Gurram, Mohammad Al-Shannag, Nicholas Joshua Lecher, Shona M. Duncan, Eric Lawrence Singsaas, Malek Alkasrawi

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79 Scopus citations


In this study we investigated the technical feasibility of convert paper mill sludge into fuel ethanol. This involved the removal of mineral fillers by using either chemical pretreatment or mechanical fractionation to determine their effects on cellulose hydrolysis and fermentation to ethanol. In addition, we studied the effect of cationic polyelectrolyte (as accelerant) addition and hydrogen peroxide pretreatment on enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation. We present results showing that removing the fillers content (ash and calcium carbonate) from the paper mill sludge increases the enzymatic hydrolysis performance dramatically with higher cellulose conversion at faster rates. The addition of accelerant and hydrogen peroxide pretreatment further improved the hydrolysis yields by 16% and 25% (g glucose / g cellulose), respectively with the de-ashed sludge. The fermentation process of produced sugars achieved up to 95% of the maximum theoretical ethanol yield and higher ethanol productivities within 9. h of fermentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-539
Number of pages11
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Cationic polyelectrolytes
  • Enzymatic hydrolysis
  • Fillers
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Paper mill sludge


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