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Trends Biotechnol. 2006 Dec;24(12):549-56. Epub 2006 Oct 16.

Bio-ethanol--the fuel of tomorrow from the residues of today.

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  • 1Lund University, PO Box 124, Getingevägen 60, S-221 00 Lund, Sweden.


The increased concern for the security of the oil supply and the negative impact of fossil fuels on the environment, particularly greenhouse gas emissions, has put pressure on society to find renewable fuel alternatives. The most common renewable fuel today is ethanol produced from sugar or grain (starch); however, this raw material base will not be sufficient. Consequently, future large-scale use of ethanol will most certainly have to be based on production from lignocellulosic materials. This review gives an overview of the new technologies required and the advances achieved in recent years to bring lignocellulosic ethanol towards industrial production. One of the major challenges is to optimize the integration of process engineering, fermentation technology, enzyme engineering and metabolic engineering.

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