July 24, 2022

What is lignocellulose?

Lignocellulosic is an abundant and renewable resource from plants mainly composed of polysaccharides (cellulose and hemicelluloses) and an aromatic polymer (lignin). Lignocellulose is the main component and supporting tissue of plant cell wall, which is widely distributed in crop residues such as corn stover, wheat straw, wood chips, dead branches, fallen leaves and grasses

The main component of lignocellulose is cellulose, a β (1–4)-linked chain of glucose molecules and it accounts for 30–50 % of the dry weight of lignocellulose. Cellulose is a polymer of glucose. This sugar can be extracted and it can be fermented to make ethanol or the longer-chain alcohol butanol.

Lignin binds to cellulose fibres to harden and strengthen the plant cell walls. Hydrogen bonds between different layers of the polysaccharides contribute to the resistance of crystalline cellulose to degradation.

Hemicellulose, the second most abundant component of lignocellulose, is composed of various 5- and 6-carbon sugars such as arabinose, galactose, glucose, mannose and xylose. Lignocellulose-degrading enzymes, namely, cellulases, hemicellulases, and ligninases, play a crucial role in converting lignocellulose into sugars and biofuels.

The lignocellulose structure varies between different biomass types, i.e., corn stalks, timber, plant stems, and waste paper, so degradability of biomasses with similar lignocellulose concentration may, therefore, vary according to the structure of lignin.

Lignocellulose is abundant, inexpensive, and renewable. Further, it can replace fossil fuels as primary source to produce second-generation biofuels and bio-sourced chemicals and materials without compromising global food security.
What is lignocellulose?

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