The State of the Art


This chapter gives a general introduction to the book and describes briefly the context for which the editors established its contents and explains why certain topics were excluded from it. It covers the main raw materials based on vegetable resources, namely (i) wood and its main components: cellulose, lignin, hemicelluloses, tannins, rosins, and terpenes, as well as species-specific constituents, like natural rubber and suberin; and (ii) annual plants as sources of starch, vegetable oils, hemicelluloses, mono and disaccharides, and algae. Then, the main animal biomass constituents are briefly described, with particular emphasis on: chitin, chitosan, proteins, and cellulose whiskers from mollusks. Finally, bacterial polymers such as poly(hydroxyalkanoates) and bacterial cellulose are evoked. For each relevant renewable source, this survey alerts the reader to the corresponding chapter in the book.


Naceur BM, Alessandro G

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