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Understanding the specificities of bio-oils and biochars obtained from the residual lignins of cellulosic ethanol

Abstract

Developing new technologies for the biorefining of lignocellulosic biomass is an urgent task to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and harness the full potential of the bioeconomy. This project is positioned at the convergence of three major areas of biorefining technologies: (i) the production of cellulosic ethanol through the enzymatic hydrolysis pathway, which recently reached commercial scale in the processing of sugarcane biomass; (ii) the use of lignin to obtain liquid biofuels and chemical products, which is a research frontier; and (iii) biomass pyrolysis, a well-established thermal technology that generates liquid (bio-oil) and solid (biochar) products that can be used in a wide range of applications. In this project, the lignin-rich residues obtained after enzymatic hydrolysis of sugarcane bagasse will be subjected to different pyrolysis conditions to obtain bio-oils and biochars. Through comparison with control samples and comprehensive characterization of the reaction products, the project will outline the specificities of bio-oils and biochars obtained from the lignin-rich residue of enzymatic hydrolysis, thus helping to identify the most promising uses for this novel industrial class of lignin. (AU)

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