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


  • Ghatak, Himadri Roy


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghatak, Himadri Roy, 2011. "Biorefineries from the perspective of sustainability: Feedstocks, products, and processes," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(8), pages 4042-4052.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:15:y:2011:i:8:p:4042-4052
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2011.07.034

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhu, Shengdong & Huang, Wenjing & Huang, Wangxiang & Wang, Ke & Chen, Qiming & Wu, Yuanxin, 2015. "Pretreatment of rice straw for ethanol production by a two-step process using dilute sulfuric acid and sulfomethylation reagent," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 190-196.
    2. Kasivisvanathan, Harresh & Barilea, Ivan Dale U. & Ng, Denny K.S. & Tan, Raymond R., 2013. "Optimal operational adjustment in multi-functional energy systems in response to process inoperability," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 492-500.
    3. Avelino Gonçalves, Fabiano & dos Santos, Everaldo Silvino & de Macedo, Gorete Ribeiro, 2015. "Use of cultivars of low cost, agroindustrial and urban waste in the production of cellulosic ethanol in Brazil: A proposal to utilization of microdistillery," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 1287-1303.
    4. Thomassen, Gwenny & Van Dael, Miet & Lemmens, Bert & Van Passel, Steven, 2017. "A review of the sustainability of algal-based biorefineries: Towards an integrated assessment framework," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 68(P2), pages 876-887.
    5. Van Dael, Miet & Van Passel, Steven & Pelkmans, Luc & Guisson, Ruben & Reumermann, Patrick & Luzardo, Nathalie Marquez & Witters, Nele & Broeze, Jan, 2013. "A techno-economic evaluation of a biomass energy conversion park," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 611-622.
    6. Taylor, Benjamin & Xiao, Ning & Sikorski, Janusz & Yong, Minloon & Harris, Tom & Helme, Tim & Smallbone, Andrew & Bhave, Amit & Kraft, Markus, 2013. "Techno-economic assessment of carbon-negative algal biodiesel for transport solutions," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 262-274.
    7. Imman, Saksit & Arnthong, Jantima & Burapatana, Vorakan & Champreda, Verawat & Laosiripojana, Navadol, 2015. "Fractionation of rice straw by a single-step solvothermal process: Effects of solvents, acid promoters, and microwave treatment," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 663-673.
    8. Khatiwada, Dilip & Leduc, Sylvain & Silveira, Semida & McCallum, Ian, 2016. "Optimizing ethanol and bioelectricity production in sugarcane biorefineries in Brazil," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 371-386.
    9. Sánchez, Antonio Santos & Silva, Yuri Lopes & Kalid, Ricardo Araújo & Cohim, Eduardo & Torres, Ednildo Andrade, 2017. "Waste bio-refineries for the cassava starch industry: New trends and review of alternatives," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 1265-1275.
    10. De Lucia, Caterina & Bartlett, Mark, 2014. "Implementing a biofuel economy in the EU: Lessons from the SUSTOIL project and future perspectives for next generation biofuels," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 22-30.
    11. repec:eee:renene:v:113:y:2017:i:c:p:1141-1148 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Parajuli, Ranjan & Dalgaard, Tommy & Jørgensen, Uffe & Adamsen, Anders Peter S. & Knudsen, Marie Trydeman & Birkved, Morten & Gylling, Morten & Schjørring, Jan Kofod, 2015. "Biorefining in the prevailing energy and materials crisis: a review of sustainable pathways for biorefinery value chains and sustainability assessment methodologies," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 244-263.


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