Sustainable Utilization of Paper Sludge for Energy Conversion: Economic Potential and Environmental Feasibility

  • Beatrice Coda
  • Roland Berger
  • Klaus R. G. Hein


In the context of sustainable development, the assessment of the role the paper industry is of paramount importance. In the last years, the efforts of the paper industry towards ecologically sustainable paper recycling have faced growing problems of waste management since recovered paper processing leads to the production of considerable amount of waste (sludge) requiring disposal. The work outlines the current state of the utilisation of paper sludge for energy conversion. Focus of the paper is the assessment of the environmental feasibility of energy recovery from paper sludge associated with toxic emissions (like NOx, SO2, N2O, chlorinated organic compounds); the fate of some toxic metals (like Hg, Pb, Cd, Zn, Mn) deriving from dyes, fillers, and toxic pigments is discussed based on new research combustion data. The environmental impact of burning paper sludge is discussed showing the interdependence between sludge properties and combustion conditions. Recent data concerning co-combustion of paper sludge, particularly in conjunction with different biomass fuels (like wood and straw), are reported. Differences related to usage of paper sludge as a fuel in paper mill boilers and industrial power plants and their economic implications are presented. Future possible scenarios for paper sludge utilisation in energy recovery are also discussed.


Paper sludge combustion heavy metals 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Göttsching L., Hamm U., Platzer E., Putz H.J. Analysis of Waste Paper Recycling and Disposal Options in Germany. IIED Report. 1996Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    CEPI, Annual Statistics. 1997.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Grieg-Gran M., Gadhvi V. Analysis of Waste Management Options for Used Paper. IIED report. 1997.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Nawrotzki B., Foritec A.B. Private Communication.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Zhao C., Chen X., Huang C., Lan J., Duan Y., Cui G., Wang W. Fluidization and Incineration of Pulp and Paper Mill Sludge in BFB. Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Fluidized Bed Combustion, Savannah, Georgia. May 16–19, 1999.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gyllenhammar M. Varmeforsk report, Combustion of Deinking Sludge and Fiber Sludge in Bark Fired Boilers. S.E.P. Scandinavian Energy Project AB. January 1998 (in Swedish)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Latva Somppi Experimental Studies on Pulp and Paper Mill Sludge Ash Behavior in Fluidised Bed Combustors. Ph.D. Dissertation, Espoo 1998, Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT Publications 336.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Preto F., Anthony E.J., Herb B.E., Lewnard, J.J. The Feasibility of Recovering Energy from Paper Mill Residual Fibre by Fluidized Bed Combustion. Combustion Technologies for a Clean Environment, edited by M. Carvalho et al., in Samuelson, G.S. (Series Editor) Energy, Combustion and the Environment, Vol. 2, Gordon and Breach Publishers. 1999.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Anthony E., Preto F., Herb B.E., Lewnard J.J. The Technical Environmental, and Economic Feasibility of Recovering Energy from Paper Mill Residual Fiber. Fluidized Bed Combustion, ASME. 1993; 1: 239–247.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Coda B., Klawa M., Spliethoff H., Hein K.R.G. Energetic Utilization of Paper Sludge by Means of Co-Combustion under Fluidized Bed Conditions. Proceedings of VDI-GET Conference, Cottbus, Germany, March 28–29, 2000.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rink, K.K., Kozinski J.A., Lighty J.S. Combustion and Flame. 1995; 100: 121–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Anthony E.J., Granatstein D.L. Fluidized Bed Combustion of Alternative Solid Fuels: Status, Successes and Problems of the Technology.; 1st South-East European Conf. on FB, Ohrid, Macedonia, Sept. 24–27, 1997.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Vayda H., Jauhiainen Erkki O., Aström L. Operating Experience of an Ecoenergy Bubbling Fluidized Bed Combustion Boiler Burning Paper Mill Sludges in Combination with Woodwaste and Other Fuels. 12th International Conference on Fluidized Bed Combustion, ASME. 1993; 1: 521–538.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sandelin K. Abo Akademi University, private communication.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    IIED: Environmental Economics, Paper Cycle-Executive Summary,
  16. 16.
    Biermann J.J.P., Voogt N., Valk M. FBC Conversion of Deinking Residue to Produce Valuable Cement Products. Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Fluidized Bed Combustion, Savannah, Georgia. May 16–19, 1999.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Holbert, C., Lighty, J.S. Trace Metal Behavior during the Thermal Treatment of Paper-Mill Sludge, International Conference on Incineration and Thermal Treatment Technologies, Salt Like City, Utah. May 11–15, 1998; 681–688.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beatrice Coda
    • 1
  • Roland Berger
    • 1
  • Klaus R. G. Hein
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Process Engineering and Power Plant Technology, IVDUniversity of StuttgartStuttgartGermany

Personalised recommendations