The concept of sustainable economy is attracting increasing attention in all social aspects, especially in industrial production. An example of sustainable economy is the global exploitation of natural resources, taking place through the recovery of by-products and/or waste generated by agricultural or industrial activity. One of the main current challenges of the industrial sectors is the development of products that can fulfill new markets requirements with an ecological commitment. Nowadays, the society is awakening and it is convinced of the needs for consuming products which have been produced through environmentally friendly processes.
The non-renewable nature of fossil fuels makes the current economic model unsustainable. For this reason, the biorefinery of lignocellulosic materials, also called second-generation, is becoming increasingly important. This process uses vegetable biomass of low cost with little commercial significance. Using the plant biomass as raw material intended to take advantage of all the fractions derived from it, obtaining fuels (such as bioethanol or biodiesel) and various chemical products of commercial interest (products for cosmetic, food, pharmacy, polyphenols, etc.), thus producing a maximum plant biomass valorization and a minimization in the production of residues.
In the bio-refinery, through different processes (physical, chemical and/or biological), biomass is transformed into a wide range of products with high added value. The whole process includes obtaining of carbohydrates, lignin and other products into fuels, high value-added chemicals and other materials, with an approach to the prospect of not generating waste and with processes that ideally involve minimal energy and environmental impact
Many scientists and technicians are studying the cellulose industry field to adapt the well-known paper production process to the above-mentioned sustainable economy concept. To this end, not only the improvement of the processes involved in pulp and paper industry through biotechnology but also their modification in order to integrate the pulp mill into a biorefinery, is being undertaken. Thus, the need for the use of each one of the wood cell wall components is imperative and under this concept, it can be achieved.
On the other hand, the reality is that in some countries, conventional raw materials for such industries are scarce due to the increasing demand for pulp and paper. Therefore, considerable amount of effort is dedicated to search and study the feasibility of new natural resources to be used as raw materials in this industry.
In this workshop of Biorefinery of Ligenocellulosic Material, we would like to invite researchers to submit original research in order to deepen the knowledge of bio-refinery based on agro-industrial residues. Potential topics would include, but are not limited to:
New raw materials, analysis and characterization of biomass
Pre-treatment, fractionation processes
Catalytic and biocatalytic conversion to fuels and to fine chemicals and chemical platforms
Biobased polymers. Natural fiber based polymeric composites
Nanolignocellulose and nanocellulose
Bio-refinery: derivatives of cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and extractives
New industrial experiences
LCA, life cycle assessment