'New tailor-made biopolymers produced from lignocellulosic sugars waste for highly demanding fire-resistant applications'

Bioengineering for utilisation and bioconversion of straw biomass into bio-products

Publication date: 23 December 2015
Source:Industrial Crops and Products, Volume 77

Author(s): Seyed Hamidreza Ghaffar, Mizi Fan, Bruce McVicar

This paper focuses on straw biomass and its main composition with the emphasis on the concept of bioengineering where agricultural biotechnology is discussed with references to success and limitations for the bioconversion of straw biomass to value added bio-products, mainly bio-energy and bio-composite. Biological pre-treatments on straw biomass have been reviewed where the function of biological enzymes and fungi have been discussed in details. Biological pre-treatments have been linked with fungi capable of generating enzymes that biodegrade lignin, hemicellulose and polyphenols. Lignocellulolytic enzymes are considered as prospective biomass degraders for industrial applications, although lignin which is the most recalcitrant constituent of straw biomass, links to hemicellulos and cellulose, thus turns into a barrier for enzymes and stops the infiltration of enzymes to biomass structure. White-rot fungi are identified to be responsible for effective lignin biodegradation in straw biomass decay procedures. It was found that biological pre-treatment in combination with mild chemical and or physical pre-treatments are the most critical process for the success of bioengineering. Bioconversion of biomass to bio-products e.g. bioethanol, biogas and bio-composites has achieved some success, however, several limitations such as long incubation times remain to be solved. The summarised information presented in this paper shall serve as scientific insights and directive fundamentals for researchers and industries for further developments and investments in biotechnology of straw biomass.

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This project has received funding from the European Unionís Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration