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Bio-carbon Production from Recycled Paper Neutral Sulphite Semi-chemical Spent Liquor

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Title: Bio-carbon Production from Recycled Paper Neutral Sulphite Semi-chemical Spent Liquor
Author: AL-Kaabi, Zainab
Program: Environmental Sciences
Advisor: Dutta, Animesh
Abstract: One of the strategies of the circular economy is the utilization of organic byproducts by converting them to renewable bio-fuel and bio-materials. Adoption of this concept is also an important focus of the current environmental bio-technology research. Black liquor, widely known as spent liquor, is a renewable byproduct from pulp and paper industry. This thesis aimed to develop an environment friendly and cost-effective method to produce bio-carbon from recycled paper neutral sulphite semi- chemical spent liquor (RPNSSCSL) as a potential source for bio-fuel and bio-material applications. The major barrier towards realizing this is understanding the related impurities and developing innovative procedures for converting them to products with acceptable profiles as per desired applications. Therefore, three objectives were recognized, 1) characterization of RPNSSCSL for the above potential applications. RPNSSCSL revealed unique chemical compositions profile and the major findings include the presence of chemical compounds from a non-plant origin, such as significant quantities of hexanedioic acid derivatives. The favorable bio-fuel characteristics of this spent liquor were: neutral pH of 7.1±0.5%, high volatile content of 66.19±0.3%, and higher heating value (HHV) of 15.71 MJ/kg. However, its ash content of 23.27±0.8% did not meet the criteria for bio-fuel applications although it was less than that of regular black liquors, 2) assessment of identified methods for production of cleaner bio-carbon from RPNSSCSL by a) a novel oxidation procedure using H2O2 b) hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) of this spent liquor. The produced bio-carbon ranged from 1.25 ± 0.05% to 1.48 ± 0.05% using the oxidation method, and 1.11 ± 0.03% to 1.45 ± 0.04% of ash from the HTC method. HHV ranged from 25.32 to 26.11 MJ/kg and from 28.68 to 29.34 MJ/kg respectively, from both methods, which are suitable for target applications, 3) evaluation for the production of bio-carbon from other industrial spent liquors (a) pine and spruce kraft spent liquors (PSKSL) (b) aspen and balsam poplar spent liquor (APKSL). Biocarbon was refined to reduce the ash content from 35.93±0.50% to 1.82±0.05% and from 37.04±0.5% to 0.71±0.07%, respectively for both spent liquors, with improved HHV of 24.26 MJ/kg and 26.89 MJ/kg for PSKSL and APKSL respectively.
Date: 2020-01-03
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