2024 journal article

Techno-economic analysis of biomass value-added processing informed by pilot scale de-ashing of paper sludge feedstock


author keywords: Paper sludge; Waste valorization; Fractionation; Process simulation; Techno-economic analysis
Source: Web Of Science
Added: June 11, 2024

Paper sludge biomass represents an underutilized feedstock rich in pulped and processed cellulose which is currently a waste stream with significant disposal cost to industry for landfilling services. Effective fractionation of the cellulose from paper sludge presents an opportunity to yield cellulose as feedstock for value-added processes. A novel approach to cellulose fractionation is the sidehill screening system, herein studied at the pilot-plant scale. Composition analysis determined ash removal and carbohydrate retention of both sidehill and high-performance benchtop screening systems. Sidehill screening resulted in greater carbohydrates retention relative to benchtop screening (90% vs 66%) and similar ash removal (95% vs 98%). Techno-economic analysis for production of sugar syrup yielded a minimum selling price of $331/metric ton of sugar syrup including disposal savings, significantly less than a commercial sugar syrup without fractionation. Sensitivity analysis showed that screening conditions played a significant role in economic feasibility for cellulosic yield and downstream processes.