Due to the health and environment impacts of fossil fuels utilization, biofuels have been investigated as a potential alternative renewable source of energy. Bioethanol is currently the most produced biofuel, mainly of first generation, resulting in food-fuel competition. Second generation bioethanol is produced from lignocellulosic biomass, but a costly and difficult pretreatment is required. The pulp and paper industry has the biggest income of biomass for non-food-chain production, and, simultaneously generates a high amount of residues. According to the circular economy model, these residues, rich in monosaccharides, or even in polysaccharides besides lignin, can be utilized as a proper feedstock for second generation bioethanol production. Biorefineries can be integrated in the existing pulp and paper industrial plants by exploiting the high level of technology and also the infrastructures and logistics that are required to fractionate and handle woody biomass. This would contribute to the diversification of products and the increase of profitability of pulp and paper industry with additional environmental benefits. This work reviews the literature supporting the feasibility of producing ethanol from Kraft pulp, spent sulfite liquor, and pulp and paper sludge, presenting and discussing the practical attempt of biorefineries implementation in pulp and paper mills for bioethanol production.
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