Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Imaging (to 2013)

First Advisor

Dr. Dewei Qi

Second Advisor

Dr. Dan Fleming

Third Advisor

Dr. Alexandra Pekarovicova

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jan Pekarovic

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


The focus ofthis thesis is to investigate the effects of enzymatic hydrolysis on recycled paperboard mill sludge. The sludge is landfilled at 45 %wt solids at a cost to the manufacturer. Hydrolyzing the cellulose present in the sludge would allow for a reduction of sludge and provide a product in D-glucose that could be used as an intermediate product in the production of ethanol, levulinic acid, gluconic acid, sorbitol, or polylactic acid. This research examined the composition of the sludge and the rate and yield of sugar production during enzymatic hydrolysis of recycled paperboard mill sludge under various conditions. The research investigated the effects of washing/de-ashing of sludge, cellulase activity, and cellulase enzyme complex.

The experiments were conducted at 50°C, pH of 4.8-5.0, using Accellerase 1500 and Cellic CTec2 cellulase enzymes at 10 and 40 FPU/g-cellulose for 24 hours. The results of the experiments showed that the sludge possessed 47 % wt. carbohydrates available for enzymatic hydrolysis. It was found that washing of sludge greatly influenced the yield of reducing sugar, while enzyme activity affected the rate of enzymatic hydrolysis. The highest rate and yield were obtained by washed sludge at 40 FPU/g-celluose using the Cellic CTec2 enzyme complex.