Biological conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

422 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The important key technologies required for the successful biological conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol have been extensively reviewed. The biological process of ethanol fuel production utilizing lignocellulose as substrate requires: (1) delignification to liberate cellulose and hemicellulose from their complex with lignin, (2) depolymerization of the carbohydrate polymers (cellulose and hemicellulose) to produce free sugars, and (3) fermentation of mixed hexose and pentose sugars to produce ethanol. The development of the feasible biological delignification process should be possible if lignin-degrading microorganisms, their ecophysiological requirements, and optimal bioreactor design are effectively coordinated. Some thermophilic anaerobes and recently- developed recombinant bacteria have advantageous features for direct microbial conversion of cellulose to ethanol, i.e. the simultaneous depolymerization of cellulosic carbohydrate polymers with ethanol production. The new fermentation technology converting xylose to ethanol needs also to be developed to make the overall conversion process more cost-effective. The bioconversion process of lignocellulosics to ethanol could be successfully developed and optimized by aggressively applying the related novel science and technologies to solve the known key problems of conversion process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Jul 23
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Biomass
Ethanol
Cellulose
Biological Phenomena
Lignin
Technology
Fermentation
Polymers
Carbohydrates
Pentoses
Hexoses
Xylose
Bioreactors
Bacteria
Costs and Cost Analysis

Keywords

  • Biological delignification process
  • Direct microbial conversion of cellulose
  • Ethanol
  • Lignocellulosic biomass
  • Xylose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology

Cite this

Biological conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol. / Lee, Jeewon.

In: Journal of Biotechnology, Vol. 56, No. 1, 23.07.1997, p. 1-24.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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