In order to successfully develop a second-generation biofuels industry, the agricultural sector will need to supply bioenergy feedstocks, which refer to cellulosic biomass (non-food plants), which typically consists of crop residues, perennial grasses, and short-rotation trees.
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Plants cell walls contain polysaccharides that can be hydrolyzed into fermentable sugars. Lignin, which is also present in the cell walls, hinders enzymatic saccharification. Thus, lignin must be removed or cleaved prior to saccharification, which requires chemicals and energy and increases cellulosic biofuel production costs.