Phytobiomasses, given the qualitative and quantitative dominance of polysaccharides, are a dominant wealth available in nature. Cellulose and hemicelluloses from softwoods, hardwoods and grasses, starch from tubercles and roots, pectins from fruits and gums from some seeds may be explored as such or following acid or alkaline pretreatments as well enzymatic deconstruction, and even simple chemical derivatization toward more added-value products. A general view in the chemistry of these valuable polymers is here broached, following a sharper focus on acid pretreatments for L(h)C—ligno(hemi)cellulosic materials from sugarcane and other feedstocks. Our particular experience using a gentler proton donor but keeping very advantageous aspects for polysaccharide chemo/biotechnological processing—thermopressurized diluted phosphoric acid (oPA)—is presented with a more detailed description as a result of its validity for the hydrolytic deconstruction of hemicelluloses—heteroxylans and heteromannans, cassava starch, dahlia inulin and mixed glucans from microalgae cell walls. The opportunity of NOs—nutraceutical oligosacchrides—generation from these particular glycopolymers is also shortly commented.
Part of the book: Sugarcane