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Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2007 Apr;137-140(1-12):327-37. doi: 10.1007/s12010-007-9062-2.

The potential in bioethanol production from waste fiber sludges in pulp mill-based biorefineries.

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  • 1Biochemistry, Division for Chemistry, Karlstad University, SE-651 88, Karlstad, Sweden.


Industrial production of bioethanol from fibers that are unusable for pulp production in pulp mills offers an approach to product diversification and more efficient exploitation of the raw material. In an attempt to utilize fibers flowing to the biological waste treatment, selected fiber sludges from three different pulp mills were collected, chemically analyzed, enzymatically hydrolyzed, and fermented for bioethanol production. Another aim was to produce solid residues with higher heat values than those of the original fiber sludges to gain a better fuel for combustion. The glucan content ranged between 32 and 66% of the dry matter. The lignin content varied considerably (1-25%), as did the content of wood extractives (0.2-5.8%). Hydrolysates obtained using enzymatic hydrolysis were found to be readily fermentable using Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Hydrolysis resulted in improved heat values compared with corresponding untreated fiber sludges. Oligomeric xylan fragments in the solid residue obtained after enzymatic hydrolysis were identified using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight and their potential as a new product of a pulp mill-based biorefinery is discussed.

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