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Über dieses Buch

The book describes the pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass for biomass-to-biofuel conversion processes, which is an important step in increasing ethanol production for biofuels. It also highlights the main challenges and suggests possible ways to make these technologies feasible for the biofuel industry. The biological conversion of cellulosic biomass into bioethanol is based on the chemical and biological breakdown of biomass into aqueous sugars, for example using hydrolytic enzymes. The fermentable sugars can then be further processed into ethanol or other advanced biofuels. Pretreatment is required to break down the lignin structure and disrupt the crystalline structure of cellulose so that the acids or enzymes can easily access and hydrolyze the cellulose. Pre-treatment can be the most expensive process in converting biomass to fuel, but there is great potential for improving the efficiency and lowering costs through further research and development. This book is aimed at academics and industrial practitioners who are interested in the higher production of ethanol for biofuels.



Chapter 1. Background and General Introduction

Owing to the increasing demand for energy, the hunt for alternative sources of energy generation that are inexpensive, ecofriendly, renewable, and can replace fossil fuels is on. One approach in this direction is the conversion of plant residues into biofuels wherein lignocellulose, which forms the structural framework of plants consisting of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, is first broken down and hydrolyzed into simple fermentable sugars, which upon fermentation form biofuels. A major bottleneck is to disarray lignin which is present as a protective covering and makes cellulose and hemicellulose recalcitrant to enzymatic hydrolysis. A number of biomass pretreatment processes have been used to break the structural framework of plants and to depolymerize lignin. In this chapter, background and general introduction on pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass for biofuel production are presented.

Pratima Bajpai

Chapter 2. Structure of Lignocellulosic Biomass

Lignocellulosic materials consist mainly of three polymers: cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. These polymers are associated with each other in a hetero-matrix to different degrees and varying relative composition depending on the type, species, and even source of the biomass. The relative abundance of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin are inter alia, key factors in determining the optimum energy. Structural and compositional features of lignocellulosic biomass are presented in this chapter.

Pratima Bajpai

Chapter 3. Conversion of Biomass to Fuel

The overview on conversion of biomass to fuel is presented in this chapter. The conversion includes the hydrolysis of various components in the lignocellulosic materials to fermentable reducing sugars and the fermentation of the sugars to fuels such as ethanol and butanol. The pretreatment step is mainly required for efficient hydrolysis of cellulose to its constituent sugars. The hydrolysis is usually catalyzed by acids or cellulase enzymes, and the fermentation is carried out by yeasts or bacteria. The factors affecting the hydrolysis of cellulose include porosity of the biomass materials, cellulose fiber crystallinity, and content of both lignin and hemicelluloses.

Pratima Bajpai

Chapter 4. Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Biomass

Biofuels produced from various lignocellulosic materials have the potential to be a valuable substitute for, or complement to, gasoline. Many physicochemical structural and compositional factors hinder the hydrolysis of cellulose present in biomass to sugars and other organic compounds that can later be converted to fuels. The goal of pretreatment is to make the cellulose accessible to hydrolysis for conversion to fuels. Various pretreatment techniques change the physical and chemical structure of the lignocellulosic biomass and improve hydrolysis rates. A large number of pretreatment methods have been developed. Many methods have been shown to result in high sugar yields. In this chapter, various pretreatment process methods for pretreatment of various lignocellulosic biomasses are presented.

Pratima Bajpai

Chapter 5. Summary of Biomass Pretreatment Methods

Advantages, limitations, and disadvantages of various pretreatment processes for lignocellulosic biomass are presented in this chapter. Combination of two or more pretreatment processes is proven to be efficient when compared with single pretreatment process alone in terms of reducing sugar yield and lignin removal from different biomasses.

Pratima Bajpai

Chapter 6. Future Perspectives

Some major challenges in the area of lignocellulosic biomass pretreatment are presented. Future research required is also discussed.

Pratima Bajpai


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