Chemical pulp mills have a need to diversify their end-product portfolio due to the current changing bio-economy. In this study, the methane potential of brown, oxygen delignified and bleached pulp were evaluated in order to assess the potential of converting traditional fibers; as well as microcrystalline cellulose and filtrates; to energy. Results showed that high yields (380 mL CH4/gVS) were achieved with bleached fibers which correlates with the lower presence of lignin. Filtrates from the hydrolysis process on the other hand, had the lowest yields (253 mL CH4/gVS) due to the high amount of acid and lignin compounds that cause inhibition. Overall, substrates had a biodegradability above 50% which demonstrates that they can be subjected to efficient anaerobic digestion. An energy and cost estimation showed that the energy produced can be translated into a significant profit and that methane production can be a promising new alternative option for chemical pulp mills.
- Anaerobic digestion
- Biochemical methane potential
- Chemical pulp
- Microcrystalline cellulose