February 15, 2024
Journal Article

Roles of Mineral Matter in Biomass Processing to Biofuels


Minerals in biomass have significant impacts on both biofuel quality and yield. This is especially true for current thermochemical biomass conversion processes. However, the roles of plant minerals in biochemical conversion have not been extensively studied, even though they are generally considered to lower the sugar yield due to reducing the feedstock proportion of carbohydrates. A successful strategic solution on the development of technologies to overcome the following challenges due to the minerals in biomass, including 1) decreasing quality of biomass feedstocks; 2) reduction of process efficiency; and 3) reduction of product qualities and quantities from biomass conversion, are thus necessary. This review summarizes the roles of plant minerals in a biorefinery, focusing on the aforementioned three key aspects. The discussion covered many issues related to plant minerals in biofuel production, including their sources, functions, and distribution in plants, their characterization methods, their influence in a biorefinery, and the strategic handling to manage their occurrence in biomass, based on reported studies. It is expected that it could inspire better strategies to deal with the variability of mineral content in biomass feedstocks to increase process efficiency and reduce the cost while supporting the concept of a circular bioeconomy.

Published: February 15, 2024


Fitria F., J. Liu, and B. Yang. 2023. Roles of Mineral Matter in Biomass Processing to Biofuels. Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining 17, no. 3:696-717. PNNL-SA-180718. doi:10.1002/bbb.2468