Physico-chemical interactions within lignocellulosic biomass and their importance in developing solvent based deconstruction methods
Efficient utilization of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin within lignocellulosic biomass is central to the economics of its transformation to chemicals and materials. However, there is very limited understanding of the physico-chemical interactions within these biopolymers, that give rise to the recalcitrant nature of biomass. Hence, current biomass deconstruction techniques resort to implementing harsh chemicals and high temperature and pressure, resulting in annihilation of a portion of the feedstock and causing significant carbon loss. This Review discusses the state-of-the-art literature on the microstructure of native biomass, including linkages among individual biopolymers in native biomass and the often overlooked connection between quantifying the biomass microstructure and its necessity in developing mild, commercially viable, carbon efficient deconstruction technologies.