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Front. Energy Res. | doi: 10.3389/fenrg.2018.00141

Recent trends in the pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass for value-added products

  • 1Tezpur University, India
  • 2Sardar Swaran Singh National Institute of Renewable Energy, India

Lignocellulosic biomass (LCB) is the most abundantly available bioresource amounting to about a global yield of up to 1.3 billion tons per year. The hydrolysis of LCB results in the release of various reducing sugars which are highly valued in the production of biofuels such as bioethanol and biogas, various organic acids, phenols, and aldehydes. The majority of LCB is composed of biological polymers such as cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, which are strongly associated with each other by covalent and hydrogen bonds thus forming a highly recalcitrant structure. The presence of lignin renders the bio-polymeric structure highly resistant to solubilization thereby inhibiting the hydrolysis of cellulose and hemicellulose which presents a significant challenge for the isolation of the respective bio-polymeric components. This has led to extensive research in the development of various pretreatment techniques utilizing various physical, chemical, physicochemical and biological approaches which are specifically tailored towards the source biomaterial and its application. The objective of this review is to discuss the various pretreatment strategies currently in use and provide an overview of their utilization for the isolation of high-value bio-polymeric components. The article further discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the various pretreatment methodologies as well as addresses the role of various key factors that are likely to have a significant impact on the pretreatment and digestibility of LCB.

Keywords: lignocellulosic biomass, pretreatment, Hydrolysis, Enzymatic breakdown, Cellulose extraction, Delignification, Biorefinery

Received: 18 Aug 2018; Accepted: 03 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Sujit Jagtap, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States

Reviewed by:

Shashi K. Bhatia, Konkuk University, South Korea
Saurabh Dhiman, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Baruah, Nath, Sharma, Kumar, Deka, Baruah and Kalita. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Eeshan Kalita, Tezpur University, Tezpur, India, ekalita@tezu.ernet.in