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Chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass: A critical comparison between biochemical, microwave and thermochemical conversion methods

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JournalCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 2 May 2020
Number of pages55
Early online date2/05/20
Original languageEnglish


The past decades have seen an increasing interest in developing pathways to produce bio-based chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass and organic waste as renewable resources. Using biomass as a source of chemical building blocks is critical to a future sustainable chemical industry. The successful development of bio-chemicals will also have a profound impact in terms of the innovations of new polymers and materials, new solvents, and new bio-active compounds. This article provides a broad review of conventional thermal heating, microwave processing, and biochemical processing for the production of value-added bio-based chemicals. The potentially important but currently little exploited microwave-assisted processes are given particular attention and the microwave-specific, non-thermal effects are explored. The comparative merits of different approaches are evaluated from the techno-economic and environmental perspectives. The opportunities of integrated biorefineries are articulated, with the aim to actualize carbon-efficient valorization of lignocellulosic biomass and organic waste for synthesizing an array of products. (Figure presented.).

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    Research areas

  • Bio-based chemicals, lignocellulosic biomass, sustainable biorefinery

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