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Title: Refining each process step to accelerate the development of biorefineries

Research over the past decade has been mainly focused on overcoming hurdles in the pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and fermentation steps of biochemical processing. Pretreatments have improved significantly in their ability to fractionate and recover the cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin components of biomass while producing substrates containing carbohydrates that can be easily broken down by hydrolytic enzymes. There is a rapid movement towards pretreatment processes that incorporate mechanical treatments that make use of existing infrastructure in the pulp and paper industry, which has experienced a downturn in its traditional markets. Enzyme performance has also made great strides with breakthrough developments in nonhydrolytic protein components, such as lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases, as well as the improvement of enzyme cocktails.The fermentability of pretreated and hydrolyzed sugar streams has been improved through strategies such as the use of reducing agents for detoxification, strain selection, and strain improvements. Although significant progress has been made, tremendous challenges still remain to advance each step of biochemical conversion, especially when processing woody biomass. In addition to technical and scale-up issues within each step of the bioconversion process, biomass feedstock supply and logistics challenges still remain at the forefront of biorefinery research.
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (Canada)
  2. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Industrial Biotechnology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1550-9087
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Joint Institute for Biological Sciences (JIBS)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: