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CELLULOSIC ETHANOL PRODUCTION THROUGH BIOCONVERSION OF LIGNOCELLULOSIC BIOMASS $100.00
Authors:  Yi Zheng
Abstract:
Cellulosic ethanol has been taken as a promising alternative energy source for the
nonrenewable fossil fuel. Cellulose is one of the three primary polymers of
lignocellulosic biomass cell wall. It is the most abundant biomaterial on earth. Each
cellulose molecule is a linear polymer of thousands of glucose residues. Cellulose can be
hydrolytically broken down into glucose either enzymatically by cellulolytic enzymes or
chemically by sulfuric or other acids. The produced glucose can be fermented into
ethanol. However, structural and compositional features of lignocellulosic biomass such
as lignin/hemicellulose shield and crystallinity of cellulose present challenges to efficient
hydrolysis of cellulose. Employment of enzymes for the hydrolysis of the lignocellulose
is considered the prospectively most viable strategy to offer advantages over other
chemical conversion routes of higher yields, minimal byproduct formation, low energy
requirements, mild operating conditions, and environmentally friendly processing. It has
long-term potential for cost reductions compared to other more established routes such as
concentrated acid and two-stage dilute acid hydrolysis, even though the enzymatic route
has the highest current costs. Considerable research efforts have been made to improve
the bioconversion efficiency of cellulose into ethanol, mainly focusing on three major
steps of biomass pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and fermentation. This chaper
reviews the development of biochemical conversion of biomass materials into cellulosic
ethanol, including previous achievements, current status, and future work. 


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