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BioEnergy Research - Call for Papers : Article Collection on “Recent advances in subcritical water pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass”

BioEnergy Research is seeking submissions for the article collection on “Recent advances in subcritical water pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass” guest edited by Dr. William Gustavo Sganzerla (VORN Bioenergy GmbH, Germany) and Prof. Dr. Tânia Forster-Carneiro (University of Campinas, Brasil)

Submission open: 1st March 2024

1. Summary of the article collection

The circular economy plays an essential role in reintegrating materials into the production chain, offering a supportive approach to achieving economic growth and shifting away from the linear economy reliant on fossil resources. By reusing by-products from traditional industrial processes as feedstock in innovative technological pathways, it is possible to promote the sustainable development of biorefineries within the circular economy framework. The development of integrated “close-to-zero waste” processes based on innovative pretreatment can be proposed as an exemplary model for biomass valorization in a biorefinery concept.

Recently, several pretreatments have been tested to promote the rupture of lignocellulosic material. However, conventional pretreatments have high costs and generate contaminants after hydrolysis, requiring additional steps to post-treatment of the waste generated. In many cases, conventional pretreatments are not economically viable due to the high demand for reagents, energy, water, and waste treatment costs. Therefore, the use of subcritical water is considered a promising alternative for the hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass. Subcritical water is water that is held by pressure at a temperature higher than its natural boiling point (100°C) and lower than its critical temperature (374 °C). During the subcritical process, the temperature, pressure, solvent-to-feed ratio, biomass residence time, and severity factor are important parameters to control the fractionation of the lignocellulosic biomass. However, several aspects of subcritical water pretreatment should be better elucidated, such as the scale-up, techno-economic and environmental aspects. Finally, implementing a sustainable pretreatment based on subcritical water serves as a strategic solution for managing lignocellulosic biomass by-products and recovering value-added products and bioenergy.

2. Aim and Scope of the article collection

This article collection aims to describe the recent advances and trends in the subcritical water pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass, focusing on extraction, hydrolysis, and combination with other modern extraction techniques (e.g., ultrasound, microwave, and pressurized liquid extraction) for further downstream processing and application in an integrated biorefinery for the recovery of bio-based products. The scope of this article collection is focused on submissions that address the following topics:

  1. Extraction and hydrolysis processes with subcritical water technology
  2. Combination of subcritical water with other modern extraction techniques (e.g., ultrasound, microwave, and pressurized liquid extraction)
  3. Downstream processing of hydrolysate obtained from subcritical water pretreatment
  4. Integration between subcritical water pretreatment and fermentation for the recovery of bio-based products
  5. Scale-up, economic assessment and cost description of subcritical water pretreatment
  6. Environmental assessment of subcritical water pretreatment Integrated biorefinery based on subcritical water pretreatment as the key process

Keywords: Biomass; Circular economy; Biorefinery; By-products; Agri-food industry; Extraction; Hydrolysis; Pretreatment; Subcritical water.

Manuscript Submission Information

If thinking of submitting a review:
- Please contact one of the special issue editors. 
- Reviews are by invitation only.

If thinking of submitting a research paper:
- Research papers may be submitted without notifying us.  However, we welcome a note with a preliminary title. 
- Send it to one of the editors.

Guest Editors:  
Dr. William Gustavo Sganzerla, 
Prof. Dr. Tânia Forster-Carneiro,

To submit a manuscript for this special issue, authors should follow the steps below:
1.    Manuscripts should be submitted online at
2.    In the section “additional information” Select ‘Yes’ when asked “Does this manuscript belong to a special issue?”, then select the article collection title: Recent advances in subcritical water pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass.

All submissions will be pre-checked for suitability of the topic (see instructions for authors).
All manuscripts that pass the pre-check will be thoroughly reviewed through a single-blind peer-review process.