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Chapter 1

Conversion of Biomass into Sugars

The synthesis of sugars from disaccharides and polysaccharides sourced from lignocellulosic biomass (agricultural waste, forest residues) is at the onset in the bio-refinery concept. This chapter presents a comprehensive overview of multiple strategies researched from the early 1990s to design and develop various catalysts and catalytic processes to hydrolyse saccharides (cellulose, hemicelluloses) into sugars by both academia and industry. A large body of work is done with mineral acids and enzyme catalysed processes, which are also practiced on an industrial scale. The effects of pH, time, temperature, concentration, substrate type etc. are studied and discussions are focused on those in the chapter along with discussions on kinetics and mechanisms. Recent developments on heterogeneous catalysts (solid acids, supported metals) are also discussed in the chapter. The pros and cons of using isolated saccharides and lignocellulose embedded saccharides as substrates are discussed. An outline of the future path for research in this area is presented for the benefit of researchers.

Print publication date: 20 Nov 2015
Copyright year: 2016
Print ISBN: 978-1-78262-113-3
PDF eISBN: 978-1-78262-207-9
ePub eISBN: 978-1-78262-782-1
From the book series:
Green Chemistry Series