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Functionalized Polymers from Lignocellulosic Biomass: State of the Art

Author(s): Elena Ten | Wilfred Vermerris

Journal: Polymers
ISSN 2073-4360

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 600;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: biomass | cell wall | cellulose | hemicellulose | lignin | nanotechnology | polymer

Since the realization that global sustainability depends on renewable sources of materials and energy, there has been an ever-increasing need to develop bio-based polymers that are able to replace petroleum-based polymers. Research in this field has shown strong potential in generating high-performance functionalized polymers from plant biomass. With the anticipated large-scale production of lignocellulosic biomass, lignin, cellulose and hemicellulosic polysaccharides will be abundantly available renewable feedstocks for biopolymers and biocomposites with physico-chemical properties that match or exceed those of petroleum-based compounds. This review examines the state of the art regarding advances and challenges in synthesis and applications of specialty polymers and composites derived from cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, ending with a brief assessment of genetic modification as a route to tailor crop plants for specific applications.
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