The Role of Green Chemistry in Biomass Processingand Conversion
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More About This Title The Role of Green Chemistry in Biomass Processingand Conversion


Sets the stage for the development of sustainable, environmentally friendly fuels, chemicals, and materials

Taking millions of years to form, fossil fuels are nonrenewable resources; it is estimated that they will be depleted by the end of this century. Moreover, the production and use of fossil fuels have resulted in considerable environmental harm. The generation of environmentally friendly energy from renewable sources such as biomass is therefore essential. This book focuses on the integration of green chemistry concepts into biomass processes and conversion in order to take full advantage of the potential of biomass to replace nonsustainable resources and meet global needs for fuel as well as other chemicals and materials.

The Role of Green Chemistry in Biomass Processing and Conversion features contributions from leading experts from Asia, Europe, and North America. Focusing on lignocellulosic biomass, the most abundant biomass resource, the book begins with a general introduction to biomass and biorefineries and then provides an update on the latest advances in green chemistry that support biomass processing and conversion. Next, the authors describe current and emerging biomass processing and conversion techniques that use green chemistry technologies, including:

  • Green solvents such as ionic liquids, supercritical CO2, and water
  • Sustainable energy sources such as microwave irradiation and sonification
  • Green catalytic technologies
  • Advanced membrane separation technologies

The last chapter of the book explores the ecotoxicological and environmental effects of converting and using fuels, chemicals, and materials from biomass.

Recommended for professionals and students in chemical engineering, green chemistry, and energy and fuels, The Role of Green Chemistry in Biomass Processing and Conversion sets a strong foundation for the development of a competitive and sustainable bioeconomy.

This monograph includes a Foreword by James Clark (University of York, UK).


HAIBO XIE, PhD, is an associate professor at the Division of Bioenergy Research, Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, who studies catalysis and biomass processing and conversion with environmentally friendly solvents.

NICHOLAS GATHERGOOD, PhD, is a lecturer at Dublin City University and a Fellow of the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland.


Foreword vii

Preface xi

Contributors xiii

About the Editors xvii

1 Introduction of Biomass and Biorefineries 1
Birgit Kamm

2 Recent Advances in Green Chemistry 27
Nicholas Gathergood

3 Biorefinery with Ionic Liquids 75
Haibo Xie, Wujun Liu, Ian Beadham, and Nicholas Gathergood

4 Biorefinery with Water 135
X. Philip Ye, Leming Cheng, Haile Ma, Biljana Bujanovic, Mangesh J. Goundalkar, and Thomas E. Amidon

5 Supercritical CO2 as an Environmentally Benign Medium for Biorefinery 181
Ray Marriott and Emily Sin

6 Dissolution and Application of Cellulose in NaOH/Urea Aqueous Solution 205
Xiaopeng Xiong and Jiangjiang Duan

7 Organosolv Biorefining Platform for Producing Chemicals, Fuels, and Materials from Lignocellulose 241
Xuejun Pan

8 Pyrolysis Oils from Biomass and Their Upgrading 263
Qirong Fu, Haibo Xie, and Dimitris S. Argyropoulos

9 Microwave Technology for Lignocellulosic Biorefinery 281
Takashi Watanabe and Tomohiko Mitani

10 Biorefinery with Microbes 293
Cuimin Hu and Zongbao K. Zhao

11 Heterogeneous Catalysts for Biomass Conversion 313
Aiqin Wang, Changzhi Li, Mingyuan Zheng, and Tao Zhang

12 Catalytic Conversion of Glycerol 349
Jie Xu, Weiqiang Yu, Hong Ma, Feng Wang, Fang Lu, Mukund Ghavre, and Nicholas Gathergood

13 Ultrasonics for Enhanced Fluid Biofuel Production 375
David Grewell and Melissa Montalbo-Lomboy

14 Advanced Membrane Technology for Products Separation in Biorefinery 407
Shenghai Li, Suobo Zhang, and Weihui Bi

15 Assessment of the Ecotoxicological and Environmental Effects of Biorefineries 435
Kerstin Bluhm, Sebastian Heger, Matthew T. Agler, Sibylle Maletz, Andreas Sch€affer, Thomas-Benjamin Seiler, Largus T. Angenent, and Henner Hollert

Index 469


“By providing interesting outlooks on a subject of such high debate and importance in both industry and research, the work of the editors sets itself as foundation for all those interested in development of new and sustainable means of bioresources processing.”  (Environmental Engineering and Management Journal, 1 March 2013)