Paper-Mill Wastes for Bioethanol Production in Relation to Circular Economy Concepts: A Review

Dafna Or-Chen, Yoram Gerchman, Hadas Mamane, Roi Peretz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This review explores circular economy principles in regard to ethanol production from paper-mill sludge. Environmental sustainability and renewability over fossil fuels make second generation ethanol an attractive energy source in a rapidly growing population and consumption world. Paper sludge (PS), a by-product of the pulp and paper (P&P) industry, can no longer be recycled for paper production and is mainly disposed of in landfills. Therefore, it poses a major environmental challenge. However, it has shown potential as a valuable raw material for ethanol production, along with other pulp and paper products, due to its abundant availability and high cellulosic content. This waste-to-energy (WtE) technology for ethanol production is proposed as an alternative, aligning with circular economy concepts to maximize resource efficiency and minimize waste. This review underlines the circular economy aspects of bioethanol production within paper mill sludge management systems. Circular economy principles applied to ethanol production from PS offer a promising avenue for sustainable biofuel development that not only addresses waste management challenges but also enhances the overall environmental performance of biofuel production. Furthermore, economic benefits are described, highlighting the potential for job creation and community development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1081
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • bioethanol
  • circular economy
  • paper-mill wastes
  • waste management
  • waste-to-energy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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