A process for converting cellulosic materials, such as waste paper, into fuels and chemicals, such as sugars and ethanol, utilizing enzymatic hydrolysis of the major carbohydrate of paper: cellulose. A waste paper slurry is contacted by cellulase in an agitated hydrolyzer. An attritor and a cellobiase reactor are coupled to the agitated hydrolyzer to improve reaction efficiency. Additionally, microfiltration, ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis steps are included to further increase reaction efficiency. The resulting sugars are converted to a dilute product in a fluidized-bed bioreactor utilizing a biocatalyst, such as microorganisms. The dilute product is then concentrated and purified.
This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-84OR21400 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. and the Government has certain rights in this invention. This invention was funded through the Office of Conservation and Renewable Energy.