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The sustainability of phytomass-derived materials: thermodynamical aspects, life cycle analysis and research perspectives

Abstract : Cellulose in particular and phytomass in general are at the heart of our food system. They are also a central energy vector and a vital source of materials. In this article, a multiscale approach to the complex issue of lignocellulose sustainability is developed. Global thermodynamic concepts help to place current biomass exploitation in a global energetic context. In particular, the notion of entropy appears pivotal to understand energy and material fluxes at the scale of the planet and the limits of biomass production. Entropy is, however, best described at the microscopic scale, despite its large-scale consequences. Recent advances in entropy-driven colloid assembly parallel nature's choices and lignocellulose assembly at the nanometric scale. The functional concept of exergy is then developed and a few examples of its concrete use in photosynthesis and biorefinery research are given. In a subsequent part, an evaluation of the relative importance of biomass is performed with respect to non-renewable materials. This discussion helps to explain the interdependence of resources, including ores and fossil fuels. This interdependence has important consequences for current and future biomass uses. Some of these dependences are then quantitatively discussed using life cycle analysis (LCA) results from the literature. These results are of importance to different technological fields such as paper, biobased insulation, construction wood, information and communication technologies, and biobased textiles. A conclusion is then drawn that exposes the research tracks that are the most likely to be sustainable, including self-assembly, exergetically favourable options and low tech solutions.
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Contributor : Benoît DUCHEMIN Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, March 18, 2022 - 2:04:51 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 23, 2022 - 3:38:33 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, June 19, 2022 - 6:59:55 PM


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Benoît Duchemin. The sustainability of phytomass-derived materials: thermodynamical aspects, life cycle analysis and research perspectives. Green Chemistry, Royal Society of Chemistry, In press, ⟨10.1039/d1gc03262c⟩. ⟨hal-03613368⟩



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