With crude oil reserves dwindling, the hunt for a sustainable alternative feedstock for fuels and materials for our society continues to expand. The biorefinery concept has enjoyed both a surge in popularity and also vocal opposition to the idea of diverting food-grade land and crops for this purpose. The idea of using the inevitable wastes arising from biomass processing, particularly farming and food production, is, therefore, gaining more attention as the feedstock for the biorefinery. For the three main components of biomass—carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins—there are long-established processes for using some of these by-products. However, the recent advances in chemical technologies are expanding both the feedstocks available for processing and the products that be obtained. Herein, this review presents some of the more recent developments in processing these molecules for green materials, as well as case studies that bring these technologies and materials together into final products for applied usage.
Bibliographical note© The Author(s) 2017.
- Green chemistry
- Waste valorisation