Liquid packaging boards are widely used for beverage packaging, but their complex composition poses challenges for recycling. These composites are occasionally recycled through hydropulping. However, this method only allows for partial recovery of the paperboard and produces a reject mixture of aluminium, plastics, and residual paper fiber. This study demonstrates the first process to purify all main components of beverage carton packaging waste derived from a commercial pulp mill using solvent-targeted recycling with multiple green solvents, such as p-cymene and ionic liquids. By utilizing this solvent-based process, all major components from the waste were recycled to their original forms in excellent purity, particularly aluminum—an essential industrial metal typically obtained through energy-intensive methods. Furthermore, the solvents used in our material recycling system can be recycled in high purity and reused in the fractionation process. The recovered paper fiber could be converted to the versatile platform chemical levulinic acid in good yield.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Economics and Econometrics
- Beverage cartons, Green solvents, Ionic liquid, Liquid packaging board
- Tetra Pak