What is Lignocellulose

What is lignocellulose? Lignocellulose refers to the specific structure of biomass. The main constituents of lignocellulosic biomass comprises lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose. This is a complex structure in which the cellulose is surrounded by a monolayer of hemicellulose and embedded in a matrix of hemicellulose and lignin. Furthermore lignin specifically creates a barrier to enzymatic attack while the highly crystalline structure of cellulose is insoluble in water while the hemicellulose and lignin create a protective sheath around the cellulose. This structure can be seen in the image below.
This structure of lignocellulose therefore plays a huge role in inhibiting degradation of the hemicellulose and cellulose structure to monomeric sugars which is necessary to effectively convert biomass into ethanol. Processing of lignocellulose is therefore essential for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to biofuel such as bio-ethanol.


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