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aspergillus niger

Biorefining of lignocellulosic biomass

Processing the lignocellulosic biomass towards a lignocellulosic biorefinery

This programme aims to develop and integrate knowledge on biomass native structures and properties and biomass transformation operations to devise tailored processes that will efficiently deliver bio-based renewable products with targeted properties. To reach this objective, a reverse engineering approach is adopted, starting from societal needs and priorities up to the management of genetic resources and biodiversity (carried out in other research divisions), through the identification of desirable key functions, the adjustment of innovative processes and the characterization of the products in relation with the final use. In this scheme, the biorefinery step would play a key-role, exploiting all the functions present in the plant cell wall.

The programme's approach is based on specifications detailing the quality and functions expected of the final product, as well as the optimisation or development of the process that will most effectively combine these criteria of quality and processing capability.

General approach of the biorefinery of lignocellulosic biomass programme 2013. © INRA
General approach of the biorefinery of lignocellulosic biomass programme 2013 © INRA

The programme is structured into three axes that integrate a cross-disciplinary modelling approach

•    1/ the knowledge of lignocellulosic biomass and questions related to its structure, its variability and its properties, including tools to characterise it   

•    2/ deconstruction of the biomass, its fractionation, its functionalisation,  integrating questions on biological tools (enzymes, microorganisms), the development of processes and their combination

•    3/ obtaining molecules and functional assemblies, from their identification (which functionalities are looked for) to the prediction of functionalities obtained from biomass/process coupling   

•    a cross-disciplinary "modelling" approach that integrates these three axes to ultimately suggest approaches for rationally obtaining products (molecules or functional assemblies) 

Detailed presentation

Lignocellulosic biorefinery programme 2013

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