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Issue 7, 2016
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Bio-chemicals from lignocellulose feedstock: sustainability, LCA and the green conundrum

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Abstract

This article discusses the environmental sustainability of bio-based or green chemicals and highlights various factors determining their “level of greenness”. Life cycle assessment was introduced as a system-wide approach that considers all processes from the extraction of natural resources to various bio-conversion steps that lead to the final product. Three bio-chemicals were selected in the investigation: methanol, formic acid, and acetone. The results suggest that the environmental benefits anticipated from renewable resources to produce green chemicals should be reviewed on a case by case basis. Sensitivity analysis was carried out to demonstrate that a 10% increase in biomass output and its availability (per unit land area) results in more CO2 savings than a 10% increased yield in the bio-conversion methods. More importantly, land use change may have a dramatic influence on the total CO2 emissions for lignocellulose utilization.

Graphical abstract: Bio-chemicals from lignocellulose feedstock: sustainability, LCA and the green conundrum

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The article was received on 02 Sep 2015, accepted on 17 Nov 2015 and first published on 17 Nov 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC02065D
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Green Chem., 2016,18, 1912-1922

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    Bio-chemicals from lignocellulose feedstock: sustainability, LCA and the green conundrum

    H. H. Khoo, W. L. Ee and V. Isoni, Green Chem., 2016, 18, 1912
    DOI: 10.1039/C5GC02065D

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