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Biotechnol Adv. 2012 Jul-Aug;30(4):879-903. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2012.01.018. Epub 2012 Jan 27.

Fractional purification and bioconversion of hemicelluloses.

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Institute of Biomass Chemistry and Technology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China.


Hemicelluloses are types of plant cell wall polysaccharides, and the world's second most abundant renewable polymers after cellulose in lignocellulosic materials. They represent a type of hetero-polysaccharide with complex structure containing glucose, xylose, mannose, galactose, arabinose, rhamnose, glucuronic acid, and galacturonic acid in various amounts, depending on the source. Hemicelluloses are usually bonded to other cell-wall components such as cellulose, cell-wall proteins, lignin, and phenolic compounds by covalent and hydrogen bonds, and by ionic and hydrophobic interactions. This paper provides a review on hemicelluloses from lignocellulosic materials, especially in regard to their isolation and purification methods, and bioconversion. Current isolation and purification strategies are summarized, including: alkali peroxide extraction, organic solvent extraction, steam explosion, ultrasound-assisted extraction, microwave-assisted extraction, column chromatography, and membrane separation. In addition, the bioconversion of hemicelluloses including pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and fermentation are discussed.

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