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Beneficiation of renewable industrial wastes from paper and pulp processing

1 School of Environmental Science, University of Guelph, N1G 2W1, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
2 Al-Mustansiriyah University, Baghdad, Iraq
3 School of Engineering, University of Guelph, N1G 2W1, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Special Issues: Sustainable bioenergy and biomaterials from agri-food waste/lignocellulosic biomass

Black liquor (spent cooking liquor) is one of the major byproducts of pulp and paper manufacturing. Black liquor contains 10–50% lignin, which is the main organic matter found within that liquor. Different types of black liquors are obtained as per the type of feedstock, pulping process and cooking method adopted by industries. In recent years, industries have been required to accommodate newer varieties of feedstock such as non-wood and recycled fibers during the delignification process, which can save plenty of trees and hence reduce their carbon footprint. Therefore, the newer black liquors being generated differ in their physical characteristics, chemical composition, and energy content from that of traditional processes.
Currently, black liquor is seen as a platform for the production of many renewable materials for industrial applications that can be environmentally friendly with the potential to be used substitute for fuel and commercial materials. However, most of the published review articles focus on the kraft spent liquor and its derived kraft lignin that is obtained from kraft pulping process at the pulp and paper as a source of bio-fuel and biomaterials. Meanwhile, several other black liquors such as soda, and neutral sulfite spent (NSSC) liquor and their derived lignin are not highlighted as sources of biofuel and biomaterials. Therefore, this review highlights all the types of black liquors including soda, and neutral sulfite spent (NSSC) liquor in terms of their sources, physical and chemical characterization, purification processes, and the potential applications of black liquor and its derived lignin.
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