Solvent-targeted recovery of all major materials in beverage carton packaging waste

Ping Keung Wong, Yuen Wai Lui, Qingqing Tao, Matthew Y. Lui*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107367
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Early online date14 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics

User-Defined Keywords

  • Beverage cartons, Green solvents, Ionic liquid, Liquid packaging board
  • PolyAl
  • Tetra Pak


Dive into the research topics of 'Solvent-targeted recovery of all major materials in beverage carton packaging waste'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this