Green biotechnology related to biomass conversion for production of bio-based chemicals has drawn considerable attention because of the increasing costs of fossil fuels and their adverse effects on climate change, environmental pollution, and human health. In this study, the recent promises and issues of low-carbon-driven bio-product technology development using lignocellulosic substrates from agriculture were critically reviewed. First, the challenges in bio-based chemical production were addressed from the aspect of technology. After that, the lignocellulose feedstock and their building-block chemicals used in the literature were summarized. In addition, novel pretreatment, bio-conversion, and separations technologies for cleaner production of bio-based products were comprehensively reviewed. It suggests that the main challenge to deploying bio-based chemical technologies into commercialization is the high cost of product recovery from the bioreactor due to the relatively low product titers caused by the product inhibition and/or pH in conventional fermentation.

Areas of Focus: Energy Markets
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Energy Markets
Well-functioning markets are essential for providing access to reliable, affordable energy. EPIC research is uncovering the policies, prices and information needed to help energy markets work efficiently.
Energy Efficiency
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Energy Efficiency
Improving energy efficiency is lauded as a promising way reduce emissions and lower energy costs. Yet, a robust body of research demonstrates that not all efficiency investments deliver. EPIC faculty...
Fossil Fuels
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Fossil Fuels
Under current policies, fossil fuels will play an important role in the energy system for the foreseeable future. EPIC research is exploring the costs and benefits of these fuels as...
Renewable Energy
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Renewable Energy
Lower technology costs and supportive public policies are driving an increase in renewable energy in markets around the world. EPIC research is assessing the costs, benefits, and efficiency of policies...
Environment
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Environment
Producing and using energy damages people’s health and the environment. EPIC research is quantifying the social costs of energy choices and uncovering policies that help protect health while facilitating growth.