Synthesis of γ-valerolactone (GVL) and their applications for lignocellulosic deconstruction for sustainable green biorefineries

Tirath Raj, K. Chandrasekhar, Rajesh Banu, Jeong Jun Yoon, Gopalakrishnan Kumar, Sang Hyoun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Lignocellulosic fractionation is highly desirable for the efficient transformation of polymeric sugars into renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials. Thus, γ-valerolactone (GVL) has attracted attention as an advanced platform chemical, which can be synthesized directly from bioderived products, such as levulinic acid, furfural, and hydroxymethylfurfural, as well as via one-pot catalytic transformation of renewable sugars (cellulose, hemicellulose, and fructose). GVL, when combined with acid and water in a certain ratio, has unique solvent characteristics to deconstruct biomass and solubilize lignin and xylose with reduced toxin generation. GVL is suitable for downstream processing, and thus, it promotes a self-sustainable, closed-loop biorefinery approach. Therefore, in this review, we comprehensively summarized the recent updates and catalytic approaches for GVL production, as well as their applications in biomass deconstruction. Additionally, we introduced the research topic, biomass structure, and natural recalcitrance, and described the merits and demerits of conventional pretreatment methods adopted in the literature so far. Finally, we discussed advancements in GVL-based biorefinery, challenges, and future perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121333
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Brain Pool Program, National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (Ministry of Science and ICT) (No. NRF-2020R1A2B5B02001757, 2020H1D3A1A04081081). This work was financially supported by Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE) Graduate School specialized in Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Project. This work was also partially supported by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, under the Mission Innovation Challenge Scheme (IC4). The grant from the project entitled “A novel integrated biorefinery for conversion of lignocellulosic agri-waste into value-added products and bioenergy (BT/PR31054/PBD/26/763/2019) was utilized for this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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