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Production of biofuel based on black liquor from the paper industry

Black Liquor is a by-product of pulp from mills that make products from trees, such as paper. It is currently used to recover cooking chemicals and produce high-pressure steam used in the pulp and paper-making process. It is composed of different ingredients from these processes such as lignin, hemicellulose, sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and sodium sulfide (Na2S).

Source: adapted from Hamaguchi, M., Cardoso, M., & Vakkilainen, E. (2012). Alternative Technologies for Biofuels Production in Kraft Pulp Mills—Potential and Prospects. Energies, 53390, 2288–2309. https://doi.org/10.3390/en5072288

The lignin compound in black liquor can be used to make drop-in biofuel for transportation. The advantages of this sort of biofuel compared to fossil fuel and other biofuels are:

  • produced from a renewable freedstock (trees),
  • lower indirect land use impact than traditional biofuels made from agricultural crops,
  • circular alternative for the paper industry, avoiding the landfilling of black liquor,
  • lower pollutant emissions than fossile fuels.

Product life cycle stages & Modules (EN15978): Benefits and Loads beyond the Life Cycle D

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