Potential Applications of Infrared and Raman Spectromicroscopy for Agricultural Biomass


  • Phani Kumar Adapa University of Saskatchewan
  • Chithra Karunakaran Canadian Light Source (Synchrotron)
  • Lope G Tabil University of Saskatchewan
  • Greg J Schoenau University of Saskatchewan


The low bulk density agricultural biomass should be processed and densified making it suitable for biorefineries. However, many agricultural biomass (lignocellulosic) especially those from straw and stover results in poorly formed pellets or compacts that are more often dusty, difficult to handle and costly to manufacture. The binding characteristics of biomass can be enhanced by modifying the structure of lignocellulose matrix (cellulose-hemicellulose-lignin) by different pre-processing and pre-treatment methods. However, it is not well understood as to how various pre-processing and pre-treatment methods affect the lignocellulosic matrix at the molecular level. Therefore, it is essential to determine chemical composition of agricultural biomass and the distribution of lignin relative to cellulose and hemicellulose before and after application of various treatment methods and after densification process. In this paper, the structural characteristics of lignocellulosic plant biomass and applications of Infrared (IR) and Raman spectromicroscopy methods are reviewed. The IR and Raman methods have good potential to determine the structural characteristics and distribution of chemical components in lignocellulosic biomass. Both methods have their own advantages and drawbacks, and should be used as complementary techniques.

Author Biographies

Phani Kumar Adapa, University of Saskatchewan

PhD Candidate

Chithra Karunakaran, Canadian Light Source (Synchrotron)

Staff Scientist

Lope G Tabil, University of Saskatchewan

Professor and Head

Greg J Schoenau, University of Saskatchewan

Professor and Acting Associate Dean






VI-Postharvest Technology and Process Engineering