Author(s): Zeng Y, Zhao S, Yang S, Ding SY
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Abstract A biochemical platform holds the most promising route toward lignocellulosic biofuels, in which polysaccharides are hydrolyzed by cellulase enzymes into simple sugars and fermented to ethanol by microbes. However, these polysaccharides are cross-linked in the plant cell walls with the hydrophobic network of lignin that physically impedes enzymatic deconstruction. A thermochemical pretreatment process is often required to remove or delocalize lignin, which may also generate inhibitors that hamper enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation. Here we review recent advances in understanding lignin structure in the plant cell walls and the negative roles of lignin in the processes of converting biomass to biofuels. Perspectives and future directions to improve the biomass conversion process are also discussed. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
This article was published in Curr Opin Biotechnol
and referenced in Journal of Advanced Chemical Engineering