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Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2020 Feb 4. doi: 10.1002/anie.201914703. [Epub ahead of print]

Protection strategies enable selective conversion of biomass.

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Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, College of Materials Engineering, CHINA.
University of Wisconsin Madison, Biological Systems Engineering, UNITED STATES.
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven, Center for Surface Chemistry & Catalysis, BELGIUM.
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Center for Surface Chemistry, BELGIUM.
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Biological System Engineering, UNITED STATES.
Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Mateirals Engineering, Shanxiao Dian Rd, 350002, Fuzhou, CHINA.


Selective and economic conversion of lignocellulosic biomass components, cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin, to bio-based fuels and chemical, is the major goal of biorefineries but low yields and selectivities for fuel precurors such as sugars, furanics, and lignin-derived monomers pose significant disadvantages in process economics. It is widely recognized that a low selectivity results because degradation and/or condensation of biomass components occurs during its fractionation and conversion. Research efforts to minimize such undesirable side-reactions include optimization of reaction parameters and catalysts, equilibrium-controlled physical protection, and kinetic-controlled chemical protection. In most cases, the optimization of reaction parameters and catalysts has achieved limited selectivity improvements due to the parallel side-reactions associated with most of the biomass chemical conversion pathways. In this article, we summarized the existing protection strategies during biomass chemocatalytic conversion processes and focus the discussions on mechanisms, challenges, and opportunities of each strategy. We introduce a concept of using analogous methods to manipulate biomass catalytic conversion pathways during upgrading of carbohyrates to fuels and chemicals. We anticipate that this article may provide new insights into the development of selective biorefining processes from a different perspective, expanding the options for selective conversion of biomass to fuels and chemicals.


Biomass, lignin, conversion, protection, biorefinery


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