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ISSN: 2475-7675
Advances in Recycling & Waste Management

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Lignocellulosic Residues for Biorefineries

Sílvio Vaz Jr*

Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation Embrapa , Brasília/DF, Brazil

*Corresponding Author:
Sílvio Vaz Jr
Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation Embrapa
Parque Estação Biológica, Av. W3 Norte
Asa Norte, Brasília/DF, Brazil
Tel: +55 61 3448-2315
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: October 20, 2015 Accepted date: October 25, 2015 Published date: October 27, 2015

Citation: Vaz SJ (2015) Lignocellulosic Residues for Biorefineries. Adv Recycling Waste Manag 1:e101. doi:10.4172/2475-7675.1000e101

Copyright: 2015 Vaz SJ. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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The biorefinery concept is an important strategy in the development of biomass usage. It is based on the productive biomass chain similar to the oil chain [1] fuels, energy, materials, bulk chemicals, and fine chemicals are the final products with a large variation in their market value. Biorefineries use a large number of conversion processes (chemical, biochemical, and thermochemical) as a result of the chemical diversity of biomass and the high content of oxygen and water. The increase in the demand for bio-derived chemicals not only offers a great number of opportunities for green technologies and processes which use lignocellulosic biomass in biorefineries, applying the green chemistry principles [2], but it also presents several challenges related to science and technology, market prices and replacement of nonrenewable products (e.g., petrochemicals) for a renewable chemistry.

Nowadays, the estimated worldwide production of renewable biomass for use in biofuels, fibers and agriculture is currently 210.7 × 106 tons per year [3]. An exact value is difficult to obtain because there is a large variation in production among countries. However, the importance of biomass to the modern economy is clear. Lignocellulosic biomass comprises wood and agricultural residues, which are sources of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin (the lignocellulosic fractions), and represents the major biomass source; since plants can contain high amounts of cellulose (40% to 50% w/w), lignin (18% to 35% w/w), and hemicellulose (10% to 35% w/w) [4], lignocellulosic biomass are considered as one of the most promising sources of industrial raw material from renewable source. Each of these types of lignocellulosic fractions has its own particular structural characteristics and chemistry, which can be exploited in chemical analyses [5].

Biofuel and pulp and paper industries are good examples of biorefineries and an opportunity to develop renewable chemicals from lignocellulosic residues [6], generating additional profits for the agro-industry. For example, from the production of ethanol from sugarcane and biodiesel from soya we can generate a large diversity of bio-products, such as bioelectricity, ethanol 2G, biogas, biofertilizer, organic acids, sugars (C6 and C5), materials (fibers, composites), fine chemicals and specialties [7]. The chain of pulp and paper has, also, great possibilities for bio-products because, as well as a sugarcane industrial plant, it is a well-established biorefinery model, mainly due the high availability of cellulose and lignin, besides to reduce its negative impact on environment. These are cases of the application of bio economy concept, where an economy model based on the oil as a non-renewable raw material for the industry and society is gradually changed to a model based on the biomass, a renewable source of raw material.


The lignocellulosic biomass residues are a renewable raw material for biorefineries and an opportunity of complementary profits for agro-industrial new chains. Furthermore, the usage of these residues can aid to reduce their negative impacts on the environment and to promote the bio economy.


  1. Kamm B, Gruber PR, Kamm M (2010) Biorefineries - industrial processes and products: status quo and future directions. Wiley, Weinheim
  2. Anastas P, Warner J (1998) Green chemistry: theory and practice. Oxford University Press, New York
  3. FAO Statistical Yearbook (2013) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome
  4. Hon DNS, Shiraishi N (2001) Wood and cellulosic chemistry. Marcel Dekker, New York
  5. Vaz JS (2014) Analytical techniques for the chemical analysis of plant biomass and biomass products. Analytical Methods 6: 8094-8105.
  6. Vaz JS (2014) Perspectives for the Brazilian residual biomass in renewable chemistry. Pure and Applied Chemistry 85: 819-820
  7. Vaz JS (2014) A renewable chemistry linked to the Brazilian biofuel production. Chemical and Biological Technologies in Agriculture 1:13
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