Enzymatic Glucose and Xylose Production from Paper Mill Rejects

Joseph Rauzi, Ulrike Tschirner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Recycled paper fiber rejects have shown potential as a source of waste-to-resource carbohydrates for renewable chemicals production. This study examined three classes of recycled paper fines (old corrugated containers, old newspaper, and mixed office waste) and two industrial papermaking rejects streams from different recycling mills (one mill processes linerboard and the other old corrugated cardboard). The effect of chemical pretreatment using dilute sodium hydroxide, hot water and dilute sulfuric acid on enzymatic glucose and xylose yields was evaluated. Enzymatic hydrolysis results indicated that recycled fiber streams with more old corrugated cardboard have higher potential to produce carbohydrates. The recycled cardboard rejects produced more glucose and xylose per kilogram of rejects than the linerboard rejects under all untreated and pretreated conditions. The highest producing rejects sample was sodium hydroxide pretreated cardboard rejects with 373 g glucose and 61 g xylose produced per kilogram of rejects. However, a simple hot water pretreatment showed similar results, with 335 g glucose and 58 g xylose produced per kilogram of rejects. The hot water pretreatment is recommended due to its comparable yield and lower chemical addition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number24
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Minnesota and the Baker Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • bio-based products
  • biomass
  • cellulosic biofuels
  • paper
  • recycling
  • waste-derived products


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