The increasingly severe environmental pollution and energy shortage issues have demanded the production of renewable and sustainable biofuels to replace conventional fossil fuels. Lignocellulosic (LC) biomass as an abundant feedstock for second-generation biofuel production can help overcome the shortcomings of first-generation biofuels related to the “food versus fuel” debate and feedstock availability. Embracing the “circular bioeconomy” concept, an integrated biorefinery platform of LC biomass can be performed by employing different conversion technologies to obtain multiple valuable products. This review provides an overview of the principles and applications of thermochemical processes (pyrolysis, torrefaction, hydrothermal liquefaction, and gasification) and biochemical processes (pretreatment technologies, enzyme hydrolysis, biochemical conversion processes) involved in LC biomass biorefinery for potential biofuel applications. The engineering perspective of LC biofuel production on separate hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF), simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF), simultaneous saccharification and co-fermentation (SSCF), and consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) were also discussed.
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