Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 2, 2016
Previous Article Next Article

Organosolv pretreatment of plant biomass for enhanced enzymatic saccharification

Author affiliations

Abstract

The combination of dwindling petroleum reserves and population growth make the development of renewable energy and chemical resources more pressing than ever before. Plant biomass is the most abundant renewable source of energy and chemicals. Enzymes can selectively convert the polysaccharides in plant biomass into simple sugars which can then be upgraded to liquid fuels and platform chemicals using biological and/or chemical processes. Pretreatment is essential for efficient enzymatic saccharification of plant biomass and this article provides an overview of how organic solvent (organosolv) pretreatments affect the structure and chemistry of plant biomass, and how these changes enhance enzymatic saccharification. A comparison between organosolv pretreatments utilizing broadly different classes of solvents (i.e., low boiling point, high boiling point, and biphasic) is presented, with a focus on solvent recovery and formation of by-products. The reaction mechanisms that give rise to these by-products are investigated and strategies to minimize by-product formation are suggested. Finally, process simulations of organosolv pretreatments are compared and contrasted, and discussed in the context of an industrial-scale plant biomass to fermentable sugar process.

Graphical abstract: Organosolv pretreatment of plant biomass for enhanced enzymatic saccharification

Back to tab navigation

Article information


Submitted
29 Aug 2015
Accepted
15 Dec 2015
First published
15 Dec 2015

Green Chem., 2016,18, 360-381
Article type
Critical Review

Organosolv pretreatment of plant biomass for enhanced enzymatic saccharification

Z. Zhang, M. D. Harrison, D. W. Rackemann, W. O. S. Doherty and I. M. O'Hara, Green Chem., 2016, 18, 360 DOI: 10.1039/C5GC02034D

To request permission to reproduce material from this article, please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

If you are an author contributing to an RSC publication, you do not need to request permission provided correct acknowledgement is given.

If you are the author of this article, you do not need to request permission to reproduce figures and diagrams provided correct acknowledgement is given. If you want to reproduce the whole article in a third-party publication (excluding your thesis/dissertation for which permission is not required) please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements