Agro-industrial Lignocellulosic Waste: An Alternative to Unravel the Future Bioenergy

  • Nidhi V. MaheshwariEmail author


Dwindling reserves of fossil fuel and petroleum derivatives, rising oil prices, concern about environmental impact, and supply insecurity demand environmentally sustainable energy sources. Production of fuels and chemicals through microbial fermentation of plant material that uses renewable feedstock is a desirable alternative to petrochemicals. Lignocellulose represents the most widespread and abundant source of carbon in nature and is the only source that could provide a sufficient amount of feedstock to satisfy the world’s energy and chemical needs in a renewable manner. Typically, most of the agricultural lignocellulosic biomass is comprised of about 10–25% lignin, 20–30% hemicellulose, and 40–50% cellulose. The processing and utilization of this substrate are complex, differing in many aspects from crop-based ethanol production. Sustainable and economically viable manufacturing of bioethanol from lignocellulose raw material is dependent on the availability of a robust ethanol-producing microorganism, able to ferment all sugars present in the feedstock. Thus, an obvious target in the field of metabolic engineering has been the tailoring of such a microorganism, combining advantageous traits from different microorganisms with classical procedures such as random mutagenesis. Nowadays research is being directed to develop metabolically and genetically engineered Saccharomyces strains and other ethanol-fermenting microbes that has the potential to utilize wide range of substrates including pentose and hexose sugars, ability for direct and efficient ethanol production from cellulosic materials, and ability to tolerate ethanol stress. Although it is still in its infancy, metabolic engineering and synthetic biology offer great potential to overcome the challenges associated with lignocellulose bioconversion.


Bioethanol Lignocellulose Fermentation Saccharomyces cerevisiae 


  1. Agbor VB, Cicek N, Sparling R, Berlin A, Levin DB (2011) Biomass pretreatment: fundamentals toward application. Biotechnol Adv 29:675–685CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agger JW, Isaksen T, Várnai A, Vidal-Melgosa S, Willats WGT, Ludwig R, Horn SJ, Eijsink VGH, Westereng B (2014) Discovery of LPMO activity on hemicelluloses shows the importance of oxidative processes in plant cell wall degradation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111(17):6287–6292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alkasrawi M, Eriksson T, Borjesson J, Wingren A, Galbe M, Tjerneld F, Zacchi G (2003) The effect of tween-20 on simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of softwood to ethanol. Enzym Microb Technol 33:71–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barakat A, de Vries H, Rouau X (2013) Dry fractionation process as an important step in current and future lignocellulose biorefineries. Bioresour Technol 134:362–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Betz C, Schlenstedt G, Bailer SM (2004) Asrp, a novel yeast ring/PHD finger protein, signals alcohol stress to the nucleus. J Biol Chem 279:28174–28181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown RM Jr (1999) Cellulose structure and biosynthesis. Pure Appl Chem 71(5):767–775CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cannella D, Hsieh CW, Felby C, Jorgensen H (2012) Production and effect of aldonic acids during enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulose at high dry matter content. Biotechnol Biofuels 5(1):261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chandel AK, Chan E, Rudravaram R, Narasu ML, Rao LV, Ravindra P (2007) Economics and environmental impact of bioethanol production technologies: an appraisal. Biotechnol Mol Biol Rev 2:14–32Google Scholar
  9. Chundawat SPS, Bals B, Campbell T, Sousa L, Gao D, Jin M, Eranki P, Garlock R, Teymouri F, Balan V, Dale BE (2013) Primer on ammonia fiber expansion pretreatment. In: Wyman CE (ed) Aqueous pretreatment of plant biomass for biological and chemical conversion to fuels and chemicals. Wiley, New York, pp 169–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chen H (2014) Biotechnology of lignocellulose: theory and practice. Springer, Dordrecht/Heidelberg/New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chung D, Cha M, Guss AM, Westpheling J (2014) Direct conversion of plant biomass to ethanol by engineered Caldicellulosiruptor bescii. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111(24):8931–8936Google Scholar
  12. Culbertson A, Jin M, da Costa SL, Dale BE, Balan V (2013) In-house cellulase production from AFEXTM pretreated corn stover using Trichoderma reesei RUT C-30. RSC Adv 3(48):25960–25969CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. da Silva (2016) Adding value to agro-industrial wastes. Ind Chem 2:2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. de Frias JA, Feng H (2013) Switchable butadiene sulfone pretreatment of Miscanthus in the presence of water. Green Chem 15(4):1067–1078CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Demain AL, Newcomb M, Wu JHD (2005) Cellulase, clostridia, and ethanol. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 69(1):124–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. den Haan R, van Rensburg E, Rose SH, van Gorgens JF, van Zyl WH (2015) Progress and challenges in the engineering of non-cellulolytic microorganisms for consolidated bioprocessing. Curr Opin Biotechnol 33:32–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dionisi D, Anderson JA, Aulenta F, McCue A, Paton G (2015) The potential of microbial processes for lignocellulosic biomass conversion to ethanol: a review. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 90:366–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dixon RA (2013) Microbiology: break down the walls. Nature 493:36–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dombek KM, Ingram LO (1986) Determination of the intracellular concentration of ethanol in Saccharomyces cerevisiae during fermentation. Appl Environ Microbiol 51:197–200Google Scholar
  20. Dominguez-Bocanegra AR, Torres-Munoz JA, Lopez RA (2015) Production of bioethanol from agro-industrial wastes. Fuel 149:85–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dufey A (2006) Biofuels production, trade and sustainable development: emerging issues, Environmental economics programme, sustainable markets discussion paper no. 2. International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), LondonGoogle Scholar
  22. Eggeman T, Elander RT (2005) Process and economic analysis of pretreatments technologies. Bioresour Technol 96:2019–2025CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Elia TP, Jose MO, Mercedes B, Lisbeth O (2008) Comparison of SHF and SSF processes from steam-exploded wheat straw for ethanol production by xylose-fermenting and robust glucose-fermenting Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains. Biotechnol Bioeng 100(6):1122–1131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. European Biofuels Technology Platform (2015) Newsletter 21, January 2015Google Scholar
  25. Gibson LG (2012) The hierarchical structure and mechanics of plant materials. J Royal Soc Interface 9:2749–2766CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Girio FM, Fonseca C, Carvalheiro F, Duarte LC, Marques S, Bogel-Lukasic R (2010) Hemicelluloses for fuel ethanol: a review. Bioresour Technol 101:4775–4800CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gnansounou E (2010) Production and use of lignocellulosic bioethanol in Europe: current situation and perspectives. Bioresour Technol 101:4842–4850CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Guo M, Song W, Buhain J (2015) Bioenergy and biofuels: history, status, and perspective. Renew Sust Energy Rev 42:712–725CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hamelinck CN, Van Hooijdonk G, Faaij APC (2005) Ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass: techno-economic performance in short-, middle- and long-term. Biomass Bioenergy 28:384–410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Himmel ME, Ding SY, Johnson DK, Adney WS, Nimlos MR, Brady JW, Foust TD (2007) Biomass recalcitrance: engineering plants and enzymes for biofuel production. Science 315:804–807CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Huang J, Chen D, Wei Y, Wang Q, Li Z, Chen Y, Huang R (2014) Direct ethanol production from lignocellulosic sugars and sugarcane bagasse by a recombinant Trichoderma reesei strain HJ48. Sci World J 2014:798683Google Scholar
  32. Ingram LO, Conway T, Clark DP, Sewell GW, Preston JF (1987) Genetic engineering of ethanol production in Escherichia coli. Appl Environ Microbiol 53:2420–2425Google Scholar
  33. Jeffries TW, Jin Y-S (2000) Ethanol and thermotolerance in the bioconversion of xylose by yeasts. Adv Appl Microbiol 47:222–268Google Scholar
  34. Jin M, Gunawan C, Balan V, Dale BE (2012) Consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) of AFEX™-pretreated corn stover for ethanol production using Clostridium phytofermentans at a high solids loading. Biotechnol Bioeng 109(8):1929–1936CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jordan DB, Bowman MJ, Braker JD, Dien BS, Hector RE, Lee CC, Mertens JA, Wagschal K (2012) Plant cell walls to ethanol. Biochem J 442(2):241–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kaur B, Sharma M, Soni R, Oberoi HS, Chadha BS (2013) Proteome-based profiling of hypercellulase-producing strains developed through interspecific protoplast fusion between Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus tubingensis. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 163:577–591Google Scholar
  37. Kim Y, Ximenes E, Mosier NS, Ladisch MR (2011) Soluble inhibitors/deactivators of cellulase enzymes from lignocellulosic biomass. Enzym Microb Technol 48(4–5):408–415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Konda N, Shi J, Singh S, Blanch H, Simmons B, Klein-Marcuschamer D (2014) Understanding cost drivers and economic potential of two variants of ionic liquid pretreatment for cellulosic biofuel production. Biotechnol Biofuels 7(1):86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kumagai A, Kawamura S, Lee SH, Endo T, Rodriguez M Jr, Mielenz JR (2014) Simultaneous saccharification and fermentation and a consolidated bioprocessing for Hinoki cypress and Eucalyptus after fibrillation by steam and subsequent wet-disk milling. Bioresour Technol 162:89–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kumar R, Wyman CE (2013) Physical and chemical features of pretreated biomass that influence macro-/micro-accessibility and biological processing. In: Wyman CE (ed) Aqueous pretreatment of plant biomass for biological and chemical conversion to fuels and chemicals. Wiley, New York, pp 281–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kumar R, Wyman CE (2014) Strong cellulase inhibition by mannan polysaccharides in cellulose conversion to sugars. Biotechnol Bioeng 111(7):1341–1353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kumar S, Singh SP, Mishra IM, Adhikari DK (2009) Recent advances in production of bioethanol from lignocellulosic biomass. Chem Eng Technol 32:517–526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ladisch MR, Lee YY (2005) Coordinated development of leading biomass pretreatment technologies. Bioresour Technol 96:1959–1966CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Li H, Pu Y, Kumar R, Ragauskas AJ, Wyman CE (2013) Investigation of lignin deposition on cellulose during hydrothermal pretreatment, its effect on cellulose hydrolysis, and underlying mechanisms. Biotechnol Bioeng 111(3):485–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Li J, Lin J, Zhou P, Wu K, Liu H, Xiong C, Gong Y, Xiao W, Liu Z (2014) One-pot simultaneous saccharification and fermentation: a preliminary study of a novel configuration for cellulosic ethanol production. Bioresour Technol 161:171–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Liu H, Zhu JY, Fu S (2010) Effects of lignin-metal complexation on enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose. J Agric Food Chem 58:7233–7238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lynd LR, Van Zyl WH, McBride JE, Laser M (2005) Consolidated bioprocessing of cellulosic biomass: an update. Curr Opin Biotechnol 16:577–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lynd LR, Laser MS, Bransby D, Dale BE, Davison B, Hamilton R, Himmel M, Keller M, McMillan JD, Sheehan J, Wyman CE (2008) How biotech can transform biofuels. Nat Biotechnol 26(2):169–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. MacPherson S, Larochelle M, Turcotte B (2006) A fungal family of transcriptional regulators: the zinc cluster proteins. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 70:583–604CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. McMillan JD (1997) Bioethanol production: status and prospects. Renew Energy 10(2–3):295–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Mood SH, Golfeshan AH, Tabatabaei M, Jouzani GS, Gholam N, Gholami MH, Ardjmand M (2013) Lignocellulosic biomass to bioethanol, a comprehensive review with a focus on pretreatment. Renew Sust Energ Rev 27:77–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Morales M, Quintero J, Conejeros R, Aroca G (2015) Life cycle assessment of lignocellulosic bioethanol: environmental impacts and energy balance. Renew Sust Energy Rev 42:1349–1361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Muller G, Várnai A, Johansen KS, Eijsink VGH, Horn SJ (2015) Harnessing the potential of LPMO-containing cellulase cocktails poses new demands on processing conditions. Biotechnol Biofuels 8(1):1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Nguyen TY, Cai CM, Kumar R, Wyman CE (2015a) Co-solvent pretreatment reduces costly enzyme requirements for high sugar and ethanol yields from lignocellulosic biomass. Chem Sus Chem 8(10):1716–1725CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Nguyen TY, Cai CMZ, Osman O, Kumar R, Wyman CE (2015b) CELF pretreatment of corn stover boosts ethanol titers and yields from high solids SSF with low enzyme loadings. Green Chem.
  56. Nissen TL, Hamann CW, Kielland-Brandt MC, Nielsen J, Villadsen J (2000) Anaerobic and aerobic batch cultivations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants impaired in glycerol synthesis. Yeast 16:463–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Oberoi HS, Babbar N, Dhaliwal SS, Kaur U, Chadha BS, Bhargav VK (2012) Ethanol production from alkali-treated rice straw via simultaneous saccharification and fermentation using newly isolated thermotolerant Pichia kudariavzavii. Indian J Biotechnol 39:557–566Google Scholar
  58. Oh EJ, Ha SJ, Kim SR, Lee WH, Galazka JM, Cate JHD, Jin YS (2013) Enhanced xylitol production through simultaneous co-utilization of cellobiose and xylose by engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Metab Eng 15:226–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Ohta K, Beall DS, Mejia JP, Shanmugam KT, Ingram LO (1991) Genetic improvement of Escherichia coli for ethanol production: chromosomal integration of Zymomonas mobilis genes encoding pyruvate decarboxylase and alcohol dehydrogenase II. Appl Environ Microbiol 57:893–900Google Scholar
  60. Okamoto K, Uchii A, Kanawaku R, Yanase H (2014) Bioconversion of xylose, hexoses and biomass to ethanol by a new isolate of the white rot basidiomycete Trametes versicolor. Springerplus 3:121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Olson DG, McBride JE, Joe Shaw A, Lynd L (2012) Recent progress in consolidated bioprocessing. Curr Opin Biotechnol 23(3):396–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Pauly M, Keegstra K (2008) Cell wall carbohydrates and their modification as a resource for biofuels. Plant J 54(4):559–568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Podkaminer KK, Shao X, Hogsett DA, Lynd LR (2011) Enzyme inactivation by ethanol and development of a kinetic model for thermophilic simultaneous saccharification and fermentation at 50°C with Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum ALK2. Biotechnol Bioeng 108(6):1268–1278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Rogers PL, Lee KJ, Tribe DE (1996) Kinetics of alcohol production by Zymomonas mobilis at high sugar concentrations. Biotechnol Lett 1(4):165–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Rubin EM (2008) Genomics of cellulosic biofuels. Nature 454:841–845CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Saha BC (2005) Enzymes as biocatalysts for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fermentable sugars. In: Hou CT (ed) Handbook of industrial biocatalysis. CRC Press LLC, West Palm BeachGoogle Scholar
  67. Scheller HV, Ulvskov P (2010) Hemicelluloses. Annu Rev Plant Biol 61:263–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Scott BR, Huang HZ, Frickman J, Halvorsen R, Johansen KS (2016) Catalase improves saccharification of lignocellulose by reducing lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase-associated enzyme inactivation. Biotechnol Lett 38(3):425–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Shao X, Jin M, Guseva A, Liu C, Balan V, Hogsett D, Dale BE, Lynd L (2011) Conversion for Avicel and AFEX pretreated corn stover by Clostridium thermocellum and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation: insights into microbial conversion of pretreated cellulosic biomass. Bioresour Technol 102(17):8040–8045CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Sharma M, Soni R, Nazir A, Oberoi HS, Chadha BS (2011) Evaluation of glycosyl hydrolyses in the secretome of Aspergillus fumigatus and saccharification of alkali-treated rice straw. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 163(5):577–591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Shaw AJ, Podkaminer KK, Desai SG, Bardsley JS, Rogers SR, Thorne PG, Hogsett DA, Lynd LR (2008) Metabolic engineering of a thermophilic bacterium to produce ethanol at high yield. Proc Natl Acad Sci 105(37):13769–13774CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Shuai L, Questell-Santiago YM, Luterbacher JS (2016) A mild biomass pretreatment using [gamma]-valerolactone for concentrated sugar production. Green Chem 18:937–943CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Singh LK, Majumder CB, Ghosh S (2012) Bioconversion of hemicellulosic fraction of perennial kans grass (Saccharum spontaneum) biomass to ethanol by Pichia stipitis: a kinetic study. Int J Green Energy 9:5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Taherzadeh MJ, Karimi K (2008) Pretreatment of lignocellulosic wastes to improve ethanol and biogas production: a review. Int J Mol Sci 9:1621–1651CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Valentine J, Clifton-Brown J, Hastings A, Robson P, Allison G, Smith P (2012) Food vs. fuel: the use of land for lignocellulosic ‘next generation’ energy crops that minimize competition with primary food production. GCB Bioenergy 4:1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Walker GM (1998) Yeast physiology and biotechnology. Wiley, LondonGoogle Scholar
  77. Wiselogel JT, Johnsson D (1996) Biomass feed- stock resources and composition. In: Wyman CE (ed) Handbook on bioethanol: production and utilization. Taylor and Francis, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  78. Wu M, Yan ZY, Zhang XM, Xu F, Sun RC (2016) Integration of mild acid hydrolysis in γ-valerolactone/water system for enhancement of enzymatic saccharification from cotton stalk. Bioresour Technol 200:23–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Wyman CE, Dale BE, Balan V, Elander RT, Holtzapple MT, Ramirez RS, Ladisch MR, Mosier NS, Lee YY, Gupta R, Thomas SR, Hames BR, Warner R, Kumar R (2013) Comparative performance of leading pretreatment technologies for biological conversion of corn stover, poplar wood, and switchgrass to sugars. In: Wyman CE (ed) Aqueous pretreatment of plant biomass for biological and chemical conversion to fuels and chemicals. Wiley, London, pp 239–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Xin FX, Wu YR, He JZ (2014) Simultaneous fermentation of glucose and xylose to butanol by Clostridium sp. strain BOH3. Appl Environ Microbiol 80:4771–4778CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Yamada R, Hasunuma T, Kondo A (2013) Endowing non-cellulolytic microorganisms with cellulolytic activity aiming for consolidated bioprocessing. Biotechnol Adv 31(6):754–763CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Zaldivar J, Nielsen J, Olsson L (2001) Fuel ethanol production from lignocellulose: a challenge for metabolic engineering and process integration. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 56:17–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Zhang YHP, Ding SY, Mielenz JR, Cui JB, Elander RT, Laser M, Himmel ME, McMillan JR, Lynd LR (2007) Fractionating recalcitrant lignocellulose at modest reaction conditions. Biotechnol Bioeng 97(2):214–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Zhu JY, Pan XJ, Wang GS, Gleisner R (2009) Sulfite pretreatment (SPORL) for robust enzymatic saccharification of spruce and red pine. Bioresour Technol 100(8):2411–2418CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer (India) Pvt. Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and BiotechnologyGujarat UniversityAhmedabadIndia

Personalised recommendations