Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 11, 2011
Previous Article Next Article

Catalytic conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fine chemicals and fuels

Author affiliations


Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant and bio-renewable resource with great potential for sustainable production of chemicals and fuels. This critical review provides insights into the state-of the-art accomplishments in the chemocatalytic technologies to generate fuels and value-added chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass, with an emphasis on its major component, cellulose. Catalytic hydrolysis, solvolysis, liquefaction, pyrolysis, gasification, hydrogenolysis and hydrogenation are the major processes presently studied. Regarding catalytic hydrolysis, the acid catalysts cover inorganic or organic acids and various solid acids such as sulfonated carbon, zeolites, heteropolyacids and oxides. Liquefaction and fast pyrolysis of cellulose are primarily conducted over catalysts with proper acidity/basicity. Gasification is typically conducted over supported noble metal catalysts. Reaction conditions, solvents and catalysts are the prime factors that affect the yield and composition of the target products. Most of processes yield a complex mixture, leading to problematic upgrading and separation. An emerging technique is to integrate hydrolysis, liquefaction or pyrolysis with hydrogenation over multifunctional solid catalysts to convert lignocellulosic biomass to value-added fine chemicals and bio-hydrocarbon fuels. And the promising catalysts might be supported transition metal catalysts and zeolite-related materials. There still exist technological barriers that need to be overcome (229 references).

Graphical abstract: Catalytic conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fine chemicals and fuels

Back to tab navigation

Additions and corrections

Publication details

The article was received on 05 May 2011 and first published on 24 Aug 2011

Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15124J
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2011,40, 5588-5617

  •   Request permissions

    Catalytic conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fine chemicals and fuels

    C. Zhou, X. Xia, C. Lin, D. Tong and J. Beltramini, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2011, 40, 5588
    DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15124J

Search articles by author