Abstract: Biomass, as a renewable resource, has the potential to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, provide energy security and mitigate environmental problems. Shifting dependence from petroleum-based to renewable biomass-based resources is generally viewed as key to the sustainable development and effective management of greenhouse gas emissions. There has been an increasing research interest in the assessment of bio-sourced materials recovered from residual biomass and their conversion techniques. Biomass which is generally considered as less important due to its light weight, bulkiness and less economic value can be a valuable feedstock in biorefineries. Many countries of the world are now on the way to effectively utilizing the so called neglected energy source for achieving greater and cleaner energy efficiency by adopting biorefinery approach. This review paper hereby critically examine the idea of biorefineries as a strategy for sustainability by using different available biomass feedstocks, techniques for their multipurpose conversion into useful chemicals, fuel and materials, and the associated challenges on the basis of relevant researches.

Keywords: Biomass; Biorefinery; Biofuels; Conversion Technologies; Energy.