Bioethanol production from fermentable sugars of plant cell walls

Vimal Kumar Balasubramanian, Ning Yuan, Venugopal Mendu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Plant cell walls encompass reservoir of complex polymeric sugars such as cellulose, hemicelluloses and pectins, which are arranged in a highly sophisticated and orderly manner that account for more than 60% of the cell wall by weight. Plant cell wall sugars are the focus for second generation bioethanol production via biochemical/enzymatic deconstruction followed by microbial fermentation process which outcompetes the firstgeneration biofuels made from starch/simple sugars from food crops. In comparison to fossil fuels, plant biomass based bioethanol is still at primitive stage for industrial scale production due to economic infeasibility. The cost associated with plant biomass production, collection, pretreatment and fermentation are prohibitive with the current technologies. To make bioethanol production economically feasible, it is important to produce biomass in marginal lands with minimal inputs, reduce pretreatment costs involved in breaking down of plant cell walls to access the sugars and fermentation. In addition, efficient breakdown and utilization of total fermentable sugars from cellulose, hemicellulose and pectin will result in economically feasible and environmental friendly plant biomass based bioethanol. Here, we focus on the cell wall based fermentable sugars, conversion methodologies and various challenges associated with the conversion process and recent scientific advances in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBioethanol and Beyond
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances in Production Process and Future Directions
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781536134797
ISBN (Print)9781536134780
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

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