Paper sludge is a waste product from the paper and pulp manufacturing industry that is generally disposed of in landfills. Pyrolysis of paper sludge can potentially provide an option for managing this waste by thermal conversion to higher calorific value fuels, bio-gas, bio-oils and charcoal. This work investigates the properties of paper sludge during pyrolysis and energy required to perform thermal conversion. The products of paper sludge pyrolysis were also investigated to determine their properties and potential energy value. The dominant volatile species of paper sludge pyrolysis at 10 °C/min were found to be CO and CO2, contributing to almost 25% of the paper sludge dry weight loss at 500 °C. The hydrocarbons (CH4, C2H4, C2H6) and hydrogen contributed to only 1% of the total weight loss. The bio-oils collected at 500 °C were primarily comprised of organic acids with the major contribution being linoleic acid, 2,4-decadienal acid and oleic acid. The high acidic content indicates that in order to convert the paper sludge bio-oil to bio-diesel or petrochemicals, further upgrading would be necessary. The charcoal produced at 500 °C had a calorific value of 13.3 MJ/kg. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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