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Prof. Claudia Antonetti, Prof. Anna Maria Raspolli Galletti

Title of the PhD project:
Total Green valorization of paper mill wastes through thermo-catalytic route from a circular economy perspective

Abstract of the PhD project:
My project will be carried out in collaboration with Lucart company, studying and optimizing the exploitation of two types of sludges produced from its plant: a) a sludge rich in cellulose; b) a second one rich in inorganics. Regarding the first one, the aim of this project is to convert this waste into added-value platforms and biofuels, in particular alkyl levulinates (ALs), by conversion of its C6 fraction through direct alcoholysis reaction. In detail, the production of ALs will be investigated complying with the green chemistry principles, adopting high substrate concentrations and low loadings of acid catalyst, also testing a cross-flow approach. Regarding the inorganic-rich sludge, it is composed mainly of CaCO3 and in minor amount of cellulosic fibers. In this case, the present proposal focuses on the selective recovery of CaCO3 that should be reused as filler within the same papermaking process, thus reducing the costs of production of the final product (coated paper or cardboard) and, at the same time, improving some of its properties, such as opacity and brilliance. In particular, the recovery of the inorganic components will be evaluated using different approaches. (i) Alkaline dissolution of cellulose by dilute sodium hydroxide solutions/ alkaline Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES). (ii) Thermochemical processes, such as pyrolysis. aimed at the selective fractionation of the inorganic sludge. (iii) Lastly, gravity/mechanical separation will be also evaluated as pretreatment in order to obtain inorganic-rich fractions, taking into consideration also the different density of cellulose and CaCO3.


Oral communications at conferences:

Poster communications at conferences:
• Rosaria Lorè, Claudia Antonetti, Domenico Licursi, Marco Martinelli, Anna Maria Raspolli Galletti, “Sustainable n-butyl levulinate production from raw and waste biomass”. Poster P25. Chemistry for the future 2021, Pisa, 30 Giugno-2 Luglio 2021.
• Claudia Antonetti, Nicola Di Fidio, Stefano Frigo, Domenico Licursi, Rosaria Lorè, Marco Martinelli, Luca Mussi, Gianluca Pasini, Anna Maria Raspolli Galletti, “Renewable resources for the synthesis of novel ester biofuels employed as diesel blendstocks”. Poster IND-PO28. XXVII Congresso Nazionale della Società Chimica Italiana, 14-23 settembre 2021.

Other achievements:


Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale
Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry
Via G. Moruzzi, 13 - Pisa, Italy
Corso di Dottorato in Scienze Chimiche e dei Materiali
Doctoral School in Chemistry and Material Science
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