Cascade utilization of lignocellulosic biomass to high-value products†
Lignocellulosic biomass is a potential sustainable feedstock to replace fossil fuels. However, the complex structure of biomass makes it difficult to convert into high-value products. Utilization of lignocellulosic biomass in a green and effective way is of great significance for sustainable development. Based on the analysis of different options, we proposed that cascade utilization according to its composition, characteristics, and nature is the best way to utilize the lignocellulosic biomass. To promote the cascade utilization of lignocellulosic biomass, this article provides a review of the latest research results from the aspect of cascade utilization of lignocellulosic biomass covering the whole chain from pretreatment to high-value products, and the research on the non-conventional pretreatments including microwave irradiation, supercritical fluids, ultrasonic irradiation, electric field, hydrodynamic cavitation, and ionic liquids are presented in detail and evaluated by 4 proposed levels, and the newly developed high-value applications were further overviewed for lignin (carbon/graphene/carbon nano-tubes, dye dispersants, bioplastics, and aerogels), cellulose (cellulose-based ionic liquids, functional composites, adsorbent materials, carbon, and aerogels), and hemicellulose (films and pharmaceutical carriers), respectively. Finally, perspectives on the future research on the cascade utilization of lignocellulosic biomass are highlighted.