Influence of green solvent on levulinic acid production from lignocellulosic paper waste

Shanta Dutta, Iris K.M. Yu, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Zhishan Su, Changwei Hu, Kevin C.W. Wu, Alex C.K. Yip, Yong Sik Ok, Chi Sun Poon

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Lignocellulosic wastes constitute a significant portion of the municipal solid waste, which should be valorised for the synthesis of value-added chemicals to achieve circular bioeconomy. This study evaluates the use of γ-valerolactone (GVL) and acetone as green co-solvents to produce levulinic acid (LA) from lignocellulosic paper towel waste at different temperatures using dilute H2SO4. At the highest reaction temperature (200 °C), H2O-only system achieved ~15 Cmol% of LA at maximum. while GVL/H2O and acetone/H2O co-solvent systems enhanced the depolymerisation of paper towel waste and the subsequent conversion to LA, with the highest yield amounted to ~32 Cmol%. Acetone/H2O solvent system generated ~17 Cmol% LA at a lower temperature (180 °C), while higher temperature induced polymerisation of soluble sugars and intermediates, hindering further conversion to LA. In contrast, the availability of soluble sugars was higher in the GVL/H2O system, which favoured the production of LA at higher temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122544
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Lignocellulosic biomass
  • Paper waste management
  • Sustainable biorefinery
  • Waste valorisation
  • γ-Valerolactone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of green solvent on levulinic acid production from lignocellulosic paper waste'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this