Main Article Content
Lignocellulosic biomass is the earth’s most abundant and renewable resource, and, lignin is its strongest component. The lignocellulosic biomass has a potential to produce bioethanol for both domestic and industrial use. The presence of lignin in the biomass, however, hinders the processing and production of bioethanol from the biomass. Hence, to enhance the chances of bioethanol production from the lignocellulosic biomass, lignin has to be pre-treated. The pre-treatment process efficiently separates the interlinked complex components. During the pre-treatment process, the strong lignin component that is highly resistant and a major barrier to solubilization is broken down by hydrolysis of cellulose and hemicellulose. Pre-treatment of lignocellulosic biomass is therefore, necessary to make it more susceptible to microorganisms, enzymes, and pathogens. The initial pre-treatment approaches include physical, physicochemical, and biological methods. The major drawback of this pre-treatment process is its cost implications, as it’s very costly. Studies suggest that even though it’s a costly affair, the pre-treatment methods, however, have a significant impact on the efficient production of ethanol from biomass.
Situation Analysis: Bioethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass has mostly been undertaken in Brazil, USA, China, and India. In Kenya, however, little research on bioethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass has been done and adopted. The present review paper seeks to outlay the benefits of bioethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass, the composition of lignocellulosic biomass, its properties, different pre-treatment methods alongside advantages, and, disadvantages, and challenges encountered during bioethanol production. This review eventually will be of great assistance to researchers while developing bioethanol from different lignocellulosic biomass. Research, technology adaption/adaptation, and policy targeted at growing bioethanol industry, could enable Kenya to grow her bioethanol industry.
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