Case 8126

Conversion of Organic Substances in pulping wastes with attendant recovery of pulping chemicals


Waste pulping liquors, organic residue, lignin compounds, regenerated pulping chemicals, pulping chemicals recovery, biomass conversion, metal-organic substances, residue treatment reactor, metal oxide precursor


Pulp and paper chemistry and recovery, biomass conversion


Conversion efficiency of organic residues to fuels or chemical feedstocks while concurrently recovering inorganic pulping chemicals


This invention is a new process chemistry to convert the organic residues of lignocellulosic pulping, including lignin, to value-added products (i.e. acetylene, other hydrocarbons, CO and H2) and to simultaneously recycle pulping chemicals including NaOH, Na2S, Mg(HSO3)2, Ca(HSO3)2 and Na2SO3. The elevated temperatures are supplied by direct heating with thermal plasma, or by combustion of suitable fuels in air or O2-enriched air, with or without oxidant pre-heat. Organic, inorganic, and metal-organic substances within the pulping residue react with each other to form metal carbides, CO, H2, H2S, and/or SO2.

  • Able to upgrade organic residues and regenerate pulping chemicals in an integrated, synergistic process
  • Capable of recycling Ca(HSO3)2, which to date has been unrecoverable from sulfite pulping technologies
  • Deodorization of mercaptans and other sulfur compounds

  • Professor Jack Howard (Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT)
  • Dr. William Peters (Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

UUS Patent Number 7,494,637; issued February 24, 2009



Last revised: November 5, 2010

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