Conventional production of platform chemicals from fossil fuel has two major disadvantages. It exerts pressure on the depleting world fossil-fuel resources and posses enormous environmental threat. Lignocellulosic materials such as wood wastes are potential resources for the production of chemicals and biofuels. Forest/Agricultural wastes are cheap, renewable and their conversion to bio-based chemicals contributes to green industries and also helps in resource conservation. Conversion of these materials could yield quite a number of high-value chemical products, platform chemicals, biofuel and high-purity products. However, processing of forest wastes into chemicals faces some challenges due to the compact three-dimensional lignocellulosic structure and the recalcitrant nature of lignin. Application of various pretreatment methods could break the recalcitrance of these materials and encourage the efficiency of the downstream process. This article describes the sources of forest wastes, methods used in their conversion and some products obtainable from these wastes. Importantly, the use of forest and agricultural wastes for the production of cleaner chemicals, biofuel and enzyme will enhance greener environment and reduce the impact of fossil fuel products on climate change.
Keywords: Lignocellulosic materials, chemicals, fossil fuel, conversion, lignin