Recent advances in commercial biorefineries for lignocellulosic ethanol production: Current status, challenges and future perspectives

Tirath Raj, K. Chandrasekhar, A. Naresh Kumar, J. Rajesh Banu, Jeong Jun Yoon, Shashi Kant Bhatia, Yung Hun Yang, Sunita Varjani, Sang Hyoun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Cellulosic ethanol production has received global attention to use as transportation fuels with gasoline blending virtue of carbon benefits and decarbonization. However, due to changing feedstock composition, natural resistance, and a lack of cost-effective pretreatment and downstream processing, contemporary cellulosic ethanol biorefineries are facing major sustainability issues. As a result, we've outlined the global status of present cellulosic ethanol facilities, as well as main roadblocks and technical challenges for sustainable and commercial cellulosic ethanol production. Additionally, the article highlights the technical and non-technical barriers, various R&D advancements in biomass pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, fermentation strategies that have been deliberated for low-cost sustainable fuel ethanol. Moreover, selection of a low-cost efficient pretreatment method, process simulation, unit integration, state-of-the-art in one pot saccharification and fermentation, system microbiology/ genetic engineering for robust strain development, and comprehensive techno-economic analysis are all major bottlenecks that must be considered for long-term ethanol production in the transportation sector.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126292
JournalBioresource technology
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (Ministry of Science & ICT) (No. NRF-2019M3E6A1103839) and supported by Brain Pool Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF-2020H1D3A1A04081081).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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