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Recent Advances on the Valorisation of Lignocellulosic Agro-Industrial Sources

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 January 2021) | Viewed by 3007

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
BioRP Group, Polytechnic School of Donostia-San Sebastián, University of the Basque Country, Biscay, Spain
Interests: the valorisation of lignocellulosic agro-industrial sources

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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Science, University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain
Interests: sustainable process; agro-industrial residues; added-value products; isolation and characterization; innovative extraction methods
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Guest Editor
Bioenergy and Biorefineries Unit, National Laboratory of Energy and Geology (LNEG), 1649-038 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: development of mild pre-treatments processes aiming at the selective fractionation of biomass towards an integrated upgrading in a biorefinery framework

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The current energy and environmental issues derived in part by the excessive use of the increasingly depleted fossil resources has encouraged the research on the field of alternative renewable sources friendly environment. In this context, lignocellulosic by-products and residues appear as promising raw materials to obtaining energy and chemicals that are usually obtained from oil fractions. Taking into account the composition of lignocellulosic materials they can be fractionated following a biorefinery concept. This approach has a double benefit: on the one hand the removal of a residue that causes pollution in the environment and the other hand the economic profit derived from the obtained products. In the last years, numerous technologies have been developed to exploit lignocellulosic materials based on the principles of the Green Chemistry. New solvents with promising advantages over the conventional solvents have arisen as well as emerging technologies more friendly environment in comparison with conventional methods. Moreover, purification sequences have been imposed as a mandatory requirement in the case of the products for which a high purity is required. The integral biorefineries that allow the transition toward a circular economy should be boosted to promote the sustainable development. Aspects such as life cycle and techno-economic analyses have sparked great interest in the recent years.

The aim of this Special Issue is to attract leading researchers in the area of valorization of lignocellulosic materials in an attempt to show the more recent and promising advances to develop more sustainable biorefinery processes. Accepted manuscripts will include the fractionation processes of lignocellulosic materials using both conventional and emerging technologies, the use of green solvents, purification sequences, and new and emerging applications of the obtained products. Moreover, contributions about the life cycle analysis and techno-economic analysis of the biorefinery processes will consider. The works focused on the use of lignocellulosic materials in a context of circular economy and sustainable development will be take into account.

Dr. Patricia Gullón
Dr. Beatriz Gullon
Dr. Florbela Carvalheiro
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Lignocellulosic materials
  • Agro-industrial sources
  • Biorefinery
  • Conventional treatments
  • Emerging intensification treatments
  • Green solvents
  • Deep eutectic solvent
  • Hemicelluloses
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Bioactivities
  • Functional ingredients
  • Lignin
  • Lignin depolimerisation
  • Biomaterials
  • Cellulose
  • Cellulose Nanocrystals
  • Cellulose Nanofibers
  • Fermentative sugar
  • Purification treatments
  • Biofuels
  • Bioprocess
  • Circular economy
  • Zero waste
  • Sustainable development
  • Life Cycle Analysis
  • Techno-economic analysis

Published Papers (1 paper)

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16 pages, 1444 KiB  
A Two-Stage Process for Conversion of Brewer’s Spent Grain into Volatile Fatty Acids through Acidogenic Fermentation
by Eliana C. Guarda, Ana Catarina Oliveira, Sílvia Antunes, Filomena Freitas, Paula M. L. Castro, Anouk F. Duque and Maria A. M. Reis
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 3222; - 3 Apr 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2491
This work is focused on the valorization of brewer’s spent grains (BSG) into volatile fatty acids (VFA) through acidogenic fermentation. VFAs are building blocks for several applications, such as bioplastics’ production. Using acid hydrolysis as pre-treatment, several batch assays were performed and the [...] Read more.
This work is focused on the valorization of brewer’s spent grains (BSG) into volatile fatty acids (VFA) through acidogenic fermentation. VFAs are building blocks for several applications, such as bioplastics’ production. Using acid hydrolysis as pre-treatment, several batch assays were performed and the impact of organic load (OL) and pH on VFA production from BSG hydrolysate was assessed. Regardless of the condition, the produced acids were mainly butyric and acetic acids followed by propionic acid. The OL had a direct impact on the total organic acid concentration with higher concentrations at the highest OL (40 gCOD L−1). pH affected the concentration of individual organic acid, with the highest fermentation products (FP) diversity attained at pH 5.0 and OL of 40 gCOD L−1. To assess the potential application of organic acids for biopolymers (such as polyhydroxyalkanoates) production, the content in hydroxybutyrate (HB) and hydroxyvalerate (HV) monomers was estimated from the respective precursors produced at each pH and OL. The content in HV precursors increased with pH, with a maximum at pH 6.0 (ca. 16% C-mol basis). The acidogenic fermentation of BSG hydrolysate was also assessed in continuous operation, using an expanded granular sludge bed reactor (EGSB). It was shown that the BSG hydrolysate was successfully converted to VFAs without pH control, achieving higher productivities than in the batch operation mode. Full article
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