The development and sustainability of second-generation biorefineries are essential for the production of high added value compounds and biofuels and their application at the industrial level. Pretreatment is one of the most critical stages in biomass processing. In this specific case, hydrothermal pretreatments (liquid hot water [LHW] and steam explosion [SE]) are considered the most promising process for the fractionation, hydrolysis and structural modifications of biomass. This review focuses on architecture of the plant cell wall and composition, fundamentals of hydrothermal pretreatment, process design integration, the techno-economic parameters of the solubilization of lignocellulosic biomass (LCB) focused on the operational costs for large-scale process implementation and the global manufacturing cost. In addition, profitability indicators are evaluated between the value-added products generated during hydrothermal pretreatment, advocating a biorefinery implementation in a circular economy framework. In addition, this review includes an analysis of environmental aspects of sustainability involved in hydrothermal pretreatments.
- Plant cell wall
- Thermochemical process