Microwave-assisted methanolysis was performed to fractionate a mixture of fatty acid methyl-esters from the cuticles of various wild plants and agricultural wastes. A combination of hydrothermal pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis effectively removed hemicellulose and cellulose to afford plant cuticles concentrated in residual materials. The subsequent methanolysis treatment afforded bio-oil from plant cuticles in ∼10% yield with a maximum higher heating value (HHV) of 32 MJ kg-1 from bagasse. The proposed cascading treatments allow the total use of herbaceous soft biomass by utilizing hemicellulose and cellulose fractions as well as plant cuticles to produce bio-oils with high HHVs.
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