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Sustainable Development and Progress of Lignocellulose Conversion to Platform Chemicals

Thanakorn Ruensodsai, Malinee Sriariyanun


A biorefinery is analogous process of a petroleum refinery, with the type of raw material being the key difference. For petroleum refinery, crude fossil fuels are distilled into fuels and refined to petrochemicals. Biorefining is defined as “the sustainable conversion of biomass into a spectrum of marketable bio-based goods (chemicals, materials) and bioenergy (biofuels, power, heat)” by the International Energy Agency's Bioenergy Task 42 [1], [2]. Based on this definition, biomass can be converted into a wide array of chemicals and energy carriers in a biorefinery, and it can also contribute to the development of a circular economy [3]. This concept is based on the idea that lignocellulosic materials are reused, recycled and converted to bio-based products. Lignocellulose is composed of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin and it is present in all plant species, and it is the most abundant biomass on earth. To achieve the circular economy concept, the agricultural wastes from industrial and agricultural activities, such as corncobs, bagasse, softwood sawdust and hardwood waste paper are utilized as raw materials for a biorefining process. Currently, lignocellulose waste is produced after harvesting seasons and mostly is combusted on the field without proper management that is become the main source of PM10 and PM 2.5 dust problem, a serious air pollution. Therefore, the lignocellulose biorefiney concept aligns with the United Nations Climate Change (UN COP26) mission that aims to a sustainable development goal (SDG) by using alternative materials to convert to energy, instead of using fossil fuels, to reduce the emission of toxic substances into the environment.

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DOI: 10.14416/j.kmutnb.2022.03.001

ISSN: 2985-2145