In industrial paper-making processes, organosolv is a pulping technique that uses an organic solvent to solubilise lignin and hemicellulose. It has been considered in the context of both pulp and paper manufacture and biorefining for subsequent conversion of cellulose to fuel ethanol. The process was invented by Theodor Kleinert in 1968 as an environmentally benign alternative to kraft pulping.
Organosolv has several advantages when compared to other popular methods such as kraft or sulfite pulping. In particular, the ability to obtain relatively high quality lignin adds value to a process stream otherwise considered as waste. Organosolv solvents are easily recovered by distillation, leading to less water pollution and elimination of the odour usually associated with kraft pulping.