Paper mill sludge (PS), a solid waste from pulp and paper industry, was investigated as a feedstock for acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) production by simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF). ABE fermentation of paper sludge by Clostridium acetobutylicum required partial removal of ash in PS to enhance its enzymatic digestibility. Enzymatic hydrolysis was found to be a rate-limiting step in the SSF. A total of 16.4-18.0g/L of ABE solvents were produced in the SSF of de-ashed PS with solid loading of 6.3-7.4% and enzyme loading of 10-15FPU/g-glucan, and the final solvent yield reached 0.27g/g sugars. No pretreatment and pH control were needed in ABE fermentation of paper sludge, which makes it an attractive feedstock for butanol production. The results suggested utilization of paper sludge should not only consider the benefits of buffering effect of CaCO3 in fermentation, but also take into account its inhibitory effect on enzymatic hydrolysis.