The biorefinery concept in its modern meaning has emerged after it has become apparent that biofuel production from non-food biomass is struggling for economic viability. Lignocellulosic biomass is more recalcitrant and more complex than the starch-based feedstocks used for food. The former, therefore, calls for a more complex approach to its utilization. This chapter reflects MetGen’s vision of the future development of biorefineries. We will discuss the zero-waste approach to lignocellulosic biomass utilization and various ways to valorize the resulting streams to boost the economic viability of the biorefinery. We will mostly explore the relevant enzyme-based approaches and will make a special focus on lignin valorization. Enzymatic and cell-based approaches to sugar valorization will be discussed as well.
Part of the book: Biorefineries