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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2009 Jun;20(3):339-47. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2009.05.003. Epub 2009 May 27.

'Cradle-to-grave' assessment of existing lignocellulose pretreatment technologies.

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Biomass Conversion Research Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Michigan State University, 3900 Collins Road, Lansing, MI 48910-8596, USA.


Pretreatment is considered to be a central unit process in a biorefinery to convert lignocellulosic biomass into fuels and chemicals, affecting all other operations in the process. A variety of technologies to pretreat lignocellulosic biomass are available today, which encompass a wide range of physical, chemical, and biological based processes. Among these, chemical based pretreatments are considered to be the most promising for future biorefineries. However, several key criteria regarding technical, economical, and environmental considerations should be critically analyzed when adapting these technologies for the nascent biorefinery industry. This review will discuss the most important pretreatment methods available today and will highlight key criteria for the development of a future ideal pretreatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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