About this Research Topic
Biomass is a globally available and renewable organic carbon resource that represents the most viable alternative for the sustainable production of platform molecules, value-added chemicals, and functional materials. Biomass utilization can also effectively reduce the dependence on fossil resources and alleviate environmental impact. Hence, biomass utilization is gaining much attention, not only in academia and chemical industries but the whole of society. As one of the chemical engineering hotspots, biomass utilization with chemical and biochemical processes describes a greener refinery concept for the future, including but not limited to the pretreatment of biomass, conversion with chemical or biological catalysts, the purification of the target products, as well as the process analysis, etc.
Many technologies have been developed for the efficient conversion of biomass to chemicals, fuels, and materials through physical, chemical, biochemical, and thermochemical routes. Among these, chemical and biochemical processes can involve the application of solvents and catalysts to pretreat the feedstock and boost reaction, respectively. However, biomass (especially lignocellulosic biomass) as starting materials involves several bottlenecks, such as rigorous reaction conditions, weak catalytic performances, poor solubility in water, and most organic solvents. Hence, the implementation of sustainable and effective processes for the utilization of biomass is vital. This Research Topic aims to tackle the challenge and issues in the current stage of biomass utilization, by developing green, clean, and efficient chemical and biochemical processes. Meanwhile, their environmental impact is in line with the ‘‘12 Green Chemistry principles’’ and the ‘‘benign-by-design concept’’ (the design of efficient, economically viable, and environmentally benign chemical processes).
This Research Topic will gather current knowledge and pressing questions about biomass utilization with chemical and biochemical processes. The Topic Editors encourage submissions of Original Research Papers, Methods, Mini Reviews, and Reviews related to (but are not limited to) the following themes:
1. Pretreatment or valorization of biomass by using alternative, biodegradable, and non-volatile green solvents, such as deep eutectic solvents and bio-based solvents.
2. Design of novel catalysts (biocatalytic, homogeneous, and heterogeneous) for efficient conversion of biomass or its derivatives
3. Research related to catalytic reaction engineering, purification and separation, industrial utilization, biocatalytic system, and eco-friendly catalytic processes for biomass utilization.
4. Innovations in microbial and microalgae biotechnology and engineering, including biofuels and bioproducts through consolidated bioprocessing, biochemicals.
5. Development of functional biomaterials including sustainable cellulosic materials, nanocellulose, hemicellulose materials, and lignin modifications.
6. The techno-economic analysis, LCA of biomass utilization.
Keywords: Biomass, Biomass utlization, chemical processes, biochemical processes, catalysts, sustainable solvents, microalgae biotechnology, biomaterials, value-added products
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