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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(4), 8997-9016;

Economically Viable Components from Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) in a Biorefinery Concept

Department of Plant Breeding, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 101, SE-230 53 Alnarp, Sweden
Environmental and Energy Systems Studies, Lund University, Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Kgs Lyngby, Denmark
Department of Biosystems and Technology, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 103, SE-230 53 Alnarp, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: James H. Clark
Received: 25 March 2015 / Revised: 16 April 2015 / Accepted: 17 April 2015 / Published: 22 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Chemistry and the Biorefinery)
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Biorefinery applications are receiving growing interest due to climatic and waste disposal issues and lack of petroleum resources. Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) is suitable for biorefinery applications due to high biomass production and limited cultivation requirements. This paper focuses on the potential of Jerusalem artichoke as a biorefinery crop and the most viable products in such a case. The carbohydrates in the tubers were found to have potential for production of platform chemicals, e.g., succinic acid. However, economic analysis showed that production of platform chemicals as a single product was too expensive to be competitive with petrochemically produced sugars. Therefore, production of several products from the same crop is a must. Additional products are protein based ones from tubers and leaves and biogas from residues, although both are of low value and amount. High bioactive activity was found in the young leaves of the crop, and the sesquiterpene lactones are of specific interest, as other compounds from this group have shown inhibitory effects on several human diseases. Thus, future focus should be on understanding the usefulness of small molecules, to develop methods for their extraction and purification and to further develop sustainable and viable methods for the production of platform chemicals. View Full-Text
Keywords: biogas; leaves; proteins; sesquiterpene lactones; succinic acid; tubers biogas; leaves; proteins; sesquiterpene lactones; succinic acid; tubers

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Johansson, E.; Prade, T.; Angelidaki, I.; Svensson, S.-E.; Newson, W.R.; Gunnarsson, I.B.; Hovmalm, H.P. Economically Viable Components from Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) in a Biorefinery Concept. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 8997-9016.

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