Biodegradation and biological treatments of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin: an overview
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In nature, cellulose, lignocellulose and lignin are major sources of plant biomass; therefore, their recycling is indispensable for the carbon cycle. Each polymer is degraded by a variety of microorganisms which produce a battery of enzymes that work synergically. In the near future, processes that use lignocellulolytic enzymes or are based on microorganisms could lead to new, environmentally friendly technologies. This study reviews recent advances in the various biological treatments that can turn these three lignicellulose biopolymers into alternative fuels. In addition, biotechnological innovations based on natural delignification and applied to pulp and paper manufacture are also outlined.
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