Production of oxalic acid from sugar beet molasses was developed in a series of three reactors. Nitrogen oxides formed were used to manufacture oxalic acid in the second and third reactor. Parameters affecting the reaction were determined to be, air flow rate, temperature, the amount of V2O5 catalyst and the concentrations of molasses and H2SO4. The maximum yields in the second and third reactors were 78.9% and 74.6% of theoretical yield, respectively. Also, kinetic experiments were performed and the first-order rate constants were determined for the glucose consumption rate. Nitrogen oxides in off-gases from the final reactor were absorbed in water and concentrated sulphuric acid and reused in the following reactors giving slightly lower yields under similar conditions. In this novel way, it was possible to recover NOx and to prevent air pollution. Meanwhile, it was possible to reduce the unit cost of reactant for oxalic acid production. A maximum 77.5% and 74.1% of theoretical yield was obtained by using the absorption solutions with NOx. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.