Aromatic fine chemicals are compounds with great industrial value due to their particular properties such as antioxidant activity. However, the rising demand for these compounds is in risk due to many issues regarding their supply by the petrochemical industry. Although natural sources of aromatics such as plant extracts and lignin are not as attractive as oil because of the current barriers on the traditional methods of extraction and purification, the last advances in Metabolic Engineering and Bioprocess Optimization have enhanced the microbial conversion of biomass into aromatic compounds, overcoming many of these problems. This review compares the benefits and constraints of different technologies that have already been applied in the obtainment of aromatics from biomass and suggest a roadmap for profitable biorefineries through the co-production of aromatic fine chemicals and biofuels.
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