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Selective fractionation and depolymerization of lignocellulosic biomass using subcritical and supercritical water to produce hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin.
5th International Congress on Green Process Engineering
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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].
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