Eucalyptus is the most widely planted type of hardwoods, and represents an important biomass source for the production of fuels, chemicals, and materials. Its industrial benefit can be achieved by processes following the biorefinery concept, which is based on the selective separation ("fractionation") of the major components (hemicelluloses, cellulose and lignin), and on the generation of added-value from the resulting fractions. This article provides a in-depth assessment on the composition of Eucalyptus wood and a critical evaluation of selected technologies allowing its overall exploitation. These latter include treatments with organosolvents and with emerging fractionation agents (ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents). The comparative evaluation of the diverse processing technologies is carried out in terms of degree of fractionation, yields and selectivities. The weak and strong points, challenges, and opportunities of the diverse fractionation methods are identified, focusing on the integral utilization of the feedstocks.
Keywords: Biofuels; Composition; Energy; Eucalyptus wood; Fractionation.
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