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Biorefineries from the perspective of sustainability: Feedstocks, products, and processes

  • Ghatak, Himadri Roy
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    Today, sustainability is the buzzword in the developmental parlance. This has brought the issue of availability and utilization of energy into sharp focus. There is an urgent need to find viable alternative to fossils, mainly petroleum. It not only provides the major share of our present energy needs but also feeds the organic chemicals industry with vital raw materials. Among many alternative energy sources being explored biomass is the only one that has the potential for such dual application. Comprehensive yet judicious exploitation of biomass is, therefore crucial. The emerging concept of biorefineries is important in this context which advocates multiprocess and multiproduct biomass based industries. But everything green need not always be clean and sustainable as populism often makes it to be. Needless to say, the choices of feedstocks, processes as well as product mix are many. There is a need to critically examine them. This paper presents a status review of biorefineries from the stand point of feedstocks, products and processes.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 8 ()
    Pages: 4042-4052

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:15:y:2011:i:8:p:4042-4052
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