Ozonolysis applied to lignocellulosic biomass
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Lignocellulosic biomass produced by several agroindustrial processes has become the most important source of green carbon able to integrate the development of a mode of production based on the biorefinery concept. The elevated recalcitrance of lignocelluloses demands intensive procedures to deconstruct their polymers and to obtain sugars as the substrate for biochemical conversion using enzymes and microorganisms. Secondgeneration ethanol is the most studied and advanced product from these biomasses and pretreatment is considered a mandatory step in the development of this technology. Ozonolysis is a chemical pretreatment which has attracted attention due to the high specificity in the delignification and the mild operating conditions. By removing lignin, ozone contributes to higher enzymatic yields in the hydrolysis step. This chapter presents a general contextualization of biomass pretreatment for cellulosic ethanol production focused on ozonolysis, the scientific gains achieved, the chemical reactions involved and the combination of ozonolysis with other pretreatment techniques aimed at reducing costs and increasing yields.
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