Techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment of gluconic acid production from waste materials 

Process flow diagram of organic acid production
Process flow diagram of organic acid production

CMI researchers from the University of Arizona and Idaho National Laboratory conducted the research for this highlight.

Gluconic acid (GA) produced from non-recyclable paper (NP) was estimated to be more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable than GA produced from corn stover (CS) and date palm clippings (DP) to leach critical materials.

At 10,000 tons/yr processing capacity, the minimum selling price of GA crystal was $1.90/kg for CS, $1.88/kg for DP, and $1.65/kg for NP. 

Significance and Impact
Identified a more sustainable pathway of producing GA. Next step, further optimize acid production from NP.