A roadmap for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to chemicals and fuels
Fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass increases process flexibility and allows for integrated processing of C5 and C6 sugars. Recent advances using acidic treatments to deconstruct biomass in combination with organic solvents to create biphasic systems have allowed for increased yields of platform chemicals such as furfural, hydroxymethylfurfural, and levulinic acid. Management of the mineral acids used in pretreatment steps remains a challenge, but proper organic solvent selection, such as 2-sec-butylphenol, allows for complete recovery and recycle of mineral acid. Using solvents with high partition coefficients for extraction of products in biphasic unit operations allows the concentrations of products to be increased and improves the efficiency of downstream processing options, such as distillation or further upgrading reactions. Overall, fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass allows for a flexible, integrated processing approach that we hope will advance biorefining operations, allowing commercial biomass processing to become a reality. Roadmap for conversion of sugars to platform chemicals. âº Fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass increases process flexibility. âº Integrated processing of C5 and C6 sugars advances biorefinery development. âº Management of mineral acids used in pretreatment steps is a significant challenge. âº Biphasic reactors allow for recovery and recycle of mineral acids during lignocellulose conversion. âº Biphasic reactors increase process yields for conversion of lignocellulose to platform chemicals.