Submitted to: American Chemical Society Symposium Series
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 6, 2004
Publication Date: April 1, 2004
Citation: Saha, B.C. 2004. Lignocellulose biodegradation and applications in biotechnology. In: Saha, B.C., Hayashi, K., editors. Lignocellulose Biodegradation. American Chemical Society Symposium Series. p. 2-34. Interpretive Summary: Plant biomass (lignocellulose) can serve as low cost feedstock for production of a variety of value-added commodity chemicals. For this, it has to be degraded to component sugars. Pretreatment of biomass is crucial before its degradation by using enzymes. This paper reviews the structure and composition of lignocellulose; various pretreatment options available; cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin degradation; and production of fuel alcohol, xylitol (sugar substitute), butanediol (chemical feedstock), and vanillin (flavor) from degradation products. The article is of great value to all academic, industrial, and government scientists who are working or planning to work on biomass degradation and development of bio-based products and processes from biomass.
Technical Abstract: Lignocellulosic biomass such as agricultural and forestry residues and herbaceous energy crops can serve as low cost feedstock for production of fuel ethanol and other value-added commodity chemicals. However, development of efficient pretreatment and cost-effective enzymatic conversion of any lignocellulosic biomass to fermentable sugars is a key issue. In this overview chapter, various pretreatment options (dilute acid, steam explosion, alkaline peroxide) and enzymes (mainly cellulases and hemicellulases) involved in lignocellulose degradation are presented. Mixed sugars generated by lignocellulose biodegradation are fermented to fuel ethanol, xylitol, 2-3-butanediol, and other value-added products. Recent advances in the developments on lignocellulose biodegradation and applications in biotechnology are reviewed.