Table of Contents
ISRN Materials Science
Volume 2011, Article ID 461482, 10 pages
Review Article

Biomass to Bioethanol: Initiatives of the Future for Lignin

1Laboratoire d'Etude et de Recherche sur le Materiau Bois, Faculté des Sciences et Technologies, Nancy-Université, Bld des Aiguillettes, 54500 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France
2Lignocellulosic Research Group, School of Chemical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Received 9 May 2011; Accepted 14 June 2011

Academic Editors: D.-p. Kamdem, H. Ku, and H. Yoshihara

Copyright © 2011 Nicolas Brosse et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Lignin, which is one of the most abundant natural materials, represents a vastly underutilized natural polymer. With the emerging necessity to develop alternative sustainable transportation fuels, bioethanol produced from lignocellulosic biomass is considered as a viable option to petroleum-derived fuels. The effective utilization of biomass feedstock necessitates the development of cost-effective pretreatment technologies that are necessary to separate the three main biopolymers (cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin). One of the key issues concerning the pretreatment process is the full recovery of the feedstock through optimum utilization of all lignocellulosic components, including nonsugar compounds, as marketable products. Thus, availability of high-quality lignin in large quantities should stimulate development in new lignin applications in the fields of fibres, biodegradable polymers, adhesives, and surface treatment (rust converter).