2. Conversion Technologies for the Production of Liquid Fuels and Biochemicals

  1. Douglas L. Karlen
  1. Sofie Dobbelaere,
  2. Tom Anthonis and
  3. Wim Soetaert

Published Online: 1 MAR 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118676332.ch2

Cellulosic Energy Cropping Systems

Cellulosic Energy Cropping Systems

How to Cite

Dobbelaere, S., Anthonis, T. and Soetaert, W. (2014) Conversion Technologies for the Production of Liquid Fuels and Biochemicals, in Cellulosic Energy Cropping Systems (ed D. L. Karlen), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118676332.ch2

Author Information

  1. Centre of Expertise for Industrial Biotechnology and Biocatalysis, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAR 2014
  2. Published Print: 13 MAR 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119991946

Online ISBN: 9781118676332



  • biochemical conversion;
  • biochemicals;
  • biomass conversion technologies;
  • lignocellulosic biomass;
  • liquid fuels;
  • thermochemical conversion


Lignocellulosic biomass such as agricultural and forestry residues and herbaceous energy crops can serve as low-cost renewable feedstock for many, next-generation, bio-derived products. Over the years, numerous research and development efforts have been undertaken to develop and apply new cost-efficient conversion processes for lignocellulosic biomass. This chapter gives an overview of the conversion technologies for liquid fuels and biochemicals. Generally, two main routes for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass can be distinguished, which can lead to the production of biofuels and other value-added commodity chemicals: the biochemical route and the thermochemical route. Biochemical conversion makes use of the enzymes of bacteria or other microorganisms to break down and convert the biomass. Thermochemical conversion includes processes in which heat and pressure are the dominant mechanisms to convert the biomass into another chemical form. Further research is needed to develop commercially viable processes utilizing the two technologies.