This study aims to promote comprehensive utilization of woody biomass by providing a knowledgebase on the utility of aspen bark as a new alternative source for fossil-based chemicals. The research focused on the analysis of clonal variation in: (1) major chemical components, i.e., hemicelluloses, cellulose, and lignin; (2) extraneous materials, i.e., bark extractives, and suberic acid; (3) condensed tannins content and composition; and (4) screening differences in antioxidative properties and total phenolic content of hot water extracts and ethanol-water extracts of hybrid aspen bark. Results of this study, the discovery of clonal variation in utilizable chemicals, pave the way for further research on added-value potential of under-utilized hybrid aspen and its bark. Clonal variation was found in notable part of chemicals with potential for utilization. Based on the results, an appropriate bark raw material can be selected for tailored processing, thus improving the resource efficiency. The results also indicate that by applying cascade processing concepts, bark chemical substances could be more efficiently utilized with more environmentally friendly methods.
Keywords: antioxidative capacity; bark; cascade; clonal variation; condensed tannin; extractive; hybrid aspen; lignocellulosic biomass; suberic acid.