|Resumen: ||Cellulose and hemicelluloses contained in woody biomass can be hydrolysed to monomeric sugars, which can be fermented to ethanol, or can be converted into higher value products .
Hemicelluloses, when isolated from biomass, have unique properties. They can be used to produce films for packaging applications in substitution to synthetic plastics, as polysaccharides works as barriers against oxygen permeation; another important application is the production of aerogels to insulate products. Xylose from hemicellulose, for instance, can be converted to furfural, which is a precursor used in different fields, such as oil refining, plastics, pharmaceutical, and agrochemical industries. L-Xylose can be also hydrogenated or enzymatically transformed to xylitol, which is a sweetening agent and is also used for preventing tooth decay .
The idea of transforming biomass to energy, materials, and chemicals, defines the concept of biorefinery, particularly interesting topic nowadays, considering the issues related to fossil combustibles and derivatives [3-5].|