Energy density enhancement via pyrolysis of paper mill sludge using CO2

Jechan Lee, Yiu Fai Tsang, Sungpyo Kim, Yong Sik Ok, Eilhann E. Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Paper manufacture is a very energy-intensive industry and generates a large amount of waste such as paper mill sludge (PMS). Given that the current PMS disposal ways (e.g., incineration and landfilling) are not eco-friendly and costly, establishing an appropriate PMS disposal platform including energy recovery is crucial to making more environmentally benign and economically viable industrial paper manufacturing process. In this respect, this study places a great emphasis on investigating the influence of CO2 on pyrolysis of PMS by systematical analysis of major three-phase pyrolytic products, such as gases and tar, under N2 and CO2 atmospheres. It was validated that using CO2 as a reaction medium in pyrolysis of PMS not only increased the production of CO (a major constituent of syngas) by ∼1000% but also decreased the amount of tar by 23%. The increase in CO production and decrease in tar formation likely resulted from reactions between CO2 and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) generated from thermal decomposition of PMS, which could be expedited by catalytic effects of minerals contained in PMS. The results shown in this paper could be applied to design green paper manufacturing processes efficiently utilizing a potent greenhouse gas, CO2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of CO2 Utilization
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • CO
  • Lignin
  • Paper mill sludge
  • Pyrolysis
  • Thermochemical process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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