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Journal Articles Frontiers in Chemistry Year : 2019

Lignocellulosic Biomass: Understanding Recalcitrance and Predicting Hydrolysis


Lignocellulosic biomass (LB) is an abundant and renewable resource from plants mainly composed of polysaccharides (cellulose and hemicelluloses) and an aromatic polymer (lignin). LB has a high potential as an alternative to fossil resources to produce second-generation biofuels and biosourced chemicals and materials without compromising global food security. One of the major limitations to LB valorisation is its recalcitrance to enzymatic hydrolysis caused by the heterogeneous multi-scale structure of plant cell walls. Factors affecting LB recalcitrance are strongly interconnected and difficult to dissociate. They can be divided into structural factors (cellulose specific surface area, cellulose crystallinity, degree of polymerization, pore size and volume) and chemical factors (composition and content in lignin, hemicelluloses, acetyl groups). Goal of this review is to propose an up-to-date survey of the relative impact of chemical and structural factors on biomass recalcitrance and of the most advanced techniques to evaluate these factors. Also, recent spectral and water-related measurements accurately predicting hydrolysis are presented. Overall, combination of relevant factors and specific measurements gathering simultaneously structural and chemical information should help to develop robust and efficient LB conversion processes into bioproducts.

Dates and versions

hal-03016183 , version 1 (20-11-2020)





Aya Zoghlami, Gabriel Paës. Lignocellulosic Biomass: Understanding Recalcitrance and Predicting Hydrolysis. Frontiers in Chemistry, 2019, 7, pp.1-11. ⟨10.3389/fchem.2019.00874⟩. ⟨hal-03016183⟩
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