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Fermentable sugars recovery from lignocellulosic waste-newspaper by catalytic hydrolysis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • Angela Orozco
  • Ala'a Al-Muhtaseb
  • David Rooney
  • Gavin Walker
  • Farid Aiouache
  • Mohamad Ahmad
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Technology
Issue number22
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)3005-3016
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The urgent need for alternative renewable energies to supplement petroleum-based fuels and the reduction of landfill sites for disposal of solid wastes makes it increasingly attractive to produce inexpensive biofuels from the organic fraction of the municipal solid waste. Therefore, municipal waste in the form of newspaper was investigated as a potential feedstock for fermentable sugars production. Hydrolysis of newspaper by dilute phosphoric acid was carried out in autoclave Parr reactor, where reactor temperature and acid concentration were examined. Xylose concentration reached a maximum value of 14 g/100 g dry mass corresponding to a yield of 94% at the best identified conditions of 2.5 wt% H3PO4, 135°C, 120 min reaction time, and at 2.5 wt% H3PO4, 150°C, and 60 min reaction time. For glucose, an average yield of 26% was obtained at 2.5 wt% H3PO4, 200°C, and 30 min. Furfural and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) formation was clearly affected by reaction temperature, where the higher the temperature the higher the formation rate. The maximum furfural formed was an average of 3 g/100 g dry mass, corresponding to a yield of 28%. The kinetic study of the acid hydrolysis was also carried out using the Saeman and the two-fraction models. It was found for both models that the kinetic constants (K) depend on the acid concentration and temperature. The degradation of HMF to levulinic acid is faster than the degradation of furfural to formic acid. Also, the degradation rate is higher than the formation rate for both inhibitors when degradation is observed