Forestry Studies in China

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 9–15

Recent progress in supercritical fluid science for biofuel production from woody biomass


    • Graduate School of Energy ScienceKyoto University

DOI: 10.1007/s11632-006-0016-5

Cite this article as:
Saka, S. For. Stud. China (2006) 8: 9. doi:10.1007/s11632-006-0016-5


Owing to an environment-friendly utilization of resources, increased attention has been focused on fuels and chemicals from biomass as an alternative to fossil resources. In addition, supercritical fluid technology has been considered to be an environmentally-benign treatment. Therefore, its technology was applied for a conversion of biomass to useful fuels and chemicals in order to mitigate environmental loading. For example, supercritical water treatment has demonstrated that lignocelluloscs can be hydrolyzed to become lignin-derived products for useful aromatic chemicals and carbohydrate-derived products, such as polysaccharides, oligosaccharides and monosaccharides of glucose, mannose and xylose used for subsequent ethanol fermentation. If this treatment is prolonged, lignocellulosics were found to be converted to organic acids such as formic, acetic, glycolic and lactic acids which can be converted to methane for biofuel. When alcohols, such as methanol and ethanol, were used instead of water, some other useful products were achieved, and its liquefied products were found to have a potential for liquid biofuel. In this study, therefore, our research achievements in supercritical fluid science of woody biomass will be introduced for clean and green chemistry for a sustainable environment.

Key words

supercritical fluid technologyliquid biofuelbiomethanolbiomethanebiodiesellignocellulosics

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© Beijing Forestry University 2006