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Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2007 Apr;137-140(1-12):947-56. doi: 10.1007/s12010-007-9110-y.

Hybrid thermochemical/biological processing: putting the cart before the horse?

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1
Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies, Iowa State University, 286 Metals Development Building, Ames, IA 50011, USA. rcbrown@iastate.edu

Abstract

The conventional view of biorefineries is that lignocellulosic plant material will be fractionated into cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and terpenes before these components are biochemically converted into market products. Occasionally, these plants include a thermochemical step at the end of the process to convert recalcitrant plant components or mixed waste streams into heat to meet thermal energy demands elsewhere in the facility. However, another possibility for converting high-fiber plant materials is to start by thermochemically processing it into a uniform intermediate product that can be biologically converted into a bio-based product. This alternative route to bio-based products is known as hybrid thermochemical/biological processing. There are two distinct approaches to hybrid processing: (a) gasification followed by fermentation of the resulting gaseous mixture of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H(2)), and carbon dioxide (CO(2)) and (b) fast pyrolysis followed by hydrolysis and/or fermentation of the anhydrosugars found in the resulting bio-oil. This article explores this "cart before the horse" approach to biorefineries.

PMID:
18478447
DOI:
10.1007/s12010-007-9110-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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