Pretreatment of lignocellulose for biotechnological production of lactic acid

P.F.H. Harmsen, S.J.J. Lips, R.R.C. Bakker

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


The breakdown of biomass in pretreatment facilitates enzymatic hydrolysis by disrupting cell wall structures, driving lignin into solution or modification of the lignin structure, and reducing cellulose crystallinity and chain length, while preventing hydrolysis of cellulose. In an ideal situation the pretreatment leads to high yields of fermentable sugars with a limited formation of degradation products that inhibit enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation to lactic acid, while remaining cost effective. This review deals with these challenges by providing information on available pretreatment technologies in general (chapter 3), and more specific on pretreatment of the model feedstock sugarcane bagasse (chapter 4). Techno economic studies are described in chapter 5 with the NREL study from 2011 as benchmark. This review starts with characteristics of lignocellulosic biomass in relation to compostion and formation of inhibitors.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherWageningen UR FBR
Number of pages104
ISBN (Print)9789461736079
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameRapport / Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research
PublisherWageningen UR FBR
No.1384, public version


  • pretreatment
  • biomass conversion
  • lignocellulose
  • lactic acid
  • bioprocess engineering
  • technology
  • sugarcane
  • costs
  • cost analysis
  • biobased economy

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