Components of Biomass and their Conversion


In this video, Dr Tom Farmer at the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, University of York outlines the major constituents within biomass available for refining, and how the composition of the biomass dictates the most suitable platform molecules to produce. 

Although initially a biorefinery may focus on a single target molecule or group of molecules e.g. a high value, low volume extract, to maximise the efficiency of crude biomass processing a useful strategy is to valorise as many of the constituents within the biomass as possible.  For example, after first removing high-value, low-volume extracts (terpenes, triglycerides, waxes, sterols, pigments, aromas etc.), the next step would be to target easily accessed or processed components (sugars, starches and hemicellulose), before recovering the protein (potentially for feed) and finally processing the recalcitrant lignocellulose.

In the following sections, four of the main constituents of biomass (saccharides, lignin, protein and extracts) will be examined in turn to look more closely at the types of molecules that can be made from them and their inherent functionalities.


Saccharides

In this video the refining options for the saccharide fraction of biomass are discussed by Dr Tom Farmer at the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, University of York.


Lignin

In this video the refining options for the lignin fraction of biomass are discussed by Dr Tom Farmer at the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, University of York.


Protein

In this video the refining options for the protein fraction of biomass are discussed by Dr Tom Farmer at the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, University of York.


Extracts

In this video the refining options for the extracts within biomass are discussed by Dr Tom Farmer at the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, University of York.