Use of Lignocellulosic Agriculture Waste as an Alternative Fuel Resource
Nothing is waste, everything is a resource.
To quench the thirst of ever increasing energy demand (primarily due to increasing population and changed socio-economic scenario) there is an urgent need to develop new age novel and unconventional resources of energy. In this regard, use of lingo-cellulosic based agriculture waste is important. In Asia, India is the second largest producer of plant based biomass waste. Due to lack of proper knowledge, much of the lignocellulosic biomass is disposed by either burning or burying process.
In almost all plants, biomass comprises of 10-25% lignin, 20-30% hemicelluloses and 40-50% cellulose. Complete removal of lignin (pre-treatment with dilute acid and ammonia pretreatment) is essential in order to utilize all available cellulosic content for the production of biofuel. Hydrolysis of cellulose content is made with different acids, cellulases and microbial fermentation. Biofuel is recovered by distillation process. Lignin co-products such as vanillin, phenols and high octane hydrocarbon fuels are extracted last.
Ever increasing demand and cost of petroleum derived fuels with consequent global warming effects have caused core demand to find environmental friendly biofuels. In order to encourage these unconventional 2nd generation biofuels, it is important to upgrade thermochemical, biochemical enzymatic routes as well as optimization of process for efficient conversion of heterogenous lignocellulosic feedstock with smooth upscaling.