Sustainability metrics of pretreatment processes in a waste derived lignocellulosic biomass biorefinery

Md Khairul Islam, Huaimin Wang, Shazia Rehman, Chengyu Dong, Hsien Yi Hsu, Carol Sze Ki Lin, Shao Yuan Leu

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Excessive utilization of fossil fuels has resulted in serious concerns about climate change. Integrating biorefinery technology to convert waste-derived-lignocellulosic biomass into biofuels and biopolymers has become an emerging topic toward our sustainable future. Pretreatment to fractionate the building block chemicals from the biomass is a crucial unit operation to ease the downstream processes in biorefinery. However, application of solvents and chemicals in the process can create many operational and environmental challenges in sensitive areas like highly populated cities. To shed light on how to determine a green biorefinery, this study presents the sustainability metrics of various pretreatment techniques and their operational risks during urbanization. The proposed green indexes include fractionation outputs, chemical recyclability, operational profile, and safety factors. In line with the design principles of lignin valorization, the issue of urban biomass and water-and-energy nexus are addressed to support future development and application of urban biorefinery for municipal waste management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122558
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Biorefinery
  • Lignocellulosic biomass
  • Pretreatment
  • Sustainability
  • Urban waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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