CT: Sustainability considerations for product and energy production in a future US economy can be met with lignocellulosic biomass. The age of petroleum as the key resource to meet the US economy requirements is rapidly dwindling, given the limited resources of petroleum, the growing global population and concurrent detrimental effects on environmental safety. The use of natural and renewable feedstocks such as trees and switchgrass is becoming more attractive; indeed, lignocellulosic biomass is becoming a logical alternative to petroleum in light of looming oil shortages, increases in oil prices, and environmental sustainability considerations. This editorial aims at providing a broad overview of the considerations for replacing the US petroleum economy with one based on lignocellulosic biomass.
S: NCSU – http://www.ncsu.edu/bioresources/BioRes_03/BioRes_03_4_0981_Lucia_LA_Lignocellulosic_Biomass.pdf (last access: 3 December 2014)
N: 1. ligno- (prefix): from Latin lignum ‘wood’.
cellulosic (adj): mid 19th century: from French, from cellule ‘small cell ’ + -ose.
biomass (n): also bio-mass, c.1980.
bio- (prefix): word-forming element, from Greek bio-, comb. form of bios “one’s life, course or way of living, lifetime” (as opposed to zoe “animal life, organic life”), from PIE root gweie- “to live”. The correct usage is that in biography, but in modern science it has been extended to mean “organic life”).
mass (n): “lump, quantity, size,” late 14c., from Old French masse “lump, heap, pile; crowd, large amount; ingot, bar” (11c.), and directly from Latin massa “kneaded dough, lump, that which adheres together like dough,” probably from Greek maza “barley cake, lump, mass, ball,” related to massein “to knead,” from PIE root mag- “to knead”. Sense extended in English 1580s to “a large quantity, amount, or number.” Strict sense in physics is from 1704.
2. Lignocellulosic biomass is therefore a potential source of starting materials for many industrial processes. The advantage of this biomaterial is that its processing is or will shortly become less expensive than petroleum, it will not affect food supplies, and all chemicals derived from it will have a lower environmental impact than petrochemicals. Additionally, it is considered carbon dioxide-neutral because burning it with coal in power plants does not add carbon to the environment beyond what was required for the process of growth. Five percent of all global chemical sales relate to “green” products such as ethanol, pharmaceutical intermediates, citric acid, and amino acids.
S: 1. OD – http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/ligno-?q=ligno&searchDictCode=all (last access: 3 December 2014); 7″>http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/cellulose?q=cellulosic&searchDictCode=all#cellulose7 (last access: 3rd December 2014); OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=biomass&searchmode=none (last access: 3rd December 2014). 2. NCSU – http://www.ncsu.edu/bioresources/BioRes_03/BioRes_03_4_0981_Lucia_LA_Lignocellulosic_Biomass.pdf (last access: 3rd December 2014).