BioEnergy Science Center

Overcoming Recalcitrance

Biomass Formation and Modification

Enabling Technologies

Biomass Deconstruction and Conversion

Leading advancements in science and science-based innovation to remove economic barriers for cellulosic biofuels.



of 3 Centers




Patent Applications


Invention Disclosures

Journal Articles


  • Industry Collaborations


    Using a "commercialization council" of technology transfer and intellectual property (IP) management professionals from partner institutions, BESC evaluates the commercial potential of new inventions arising from BESC research and promotes and facilitates the licensing of BESC IP.

  • Education Outreach


    BESC's education program, which is 75% self-sustaining, takes a novel approach. BESC has developed lesson plans to educate students about energy production and utilization. BESC uses a hub-and-spoke approach of working through regional science centers to maximize hands-on access and adaptation to local conditions.

Progress to Date

Keep up with BESC on our BLOG


More Highlights

September 01, 2015

Engineering of a Thermophilic, Cellulolytic Microbe to Produce an Advanced Biofuel
Production of isobutanol from cellulose in minimal medium achieved 5.4 g/L titer and roughly 41% of theoretical yield. This result successfully demonstrates the advantages of using a consolidates bioprocessing approach to produce an advanced biofuel. This is a measureable and significant step towards commercially relevant titers and yields. Isobutanol can be utilized as a "drop-in" biofuel, as a substrate for upgrading into hydrocarbon fuels, or as a feedstock for other bioproducts.

July 15, 2015

Comparison of MethylC-seq and 4mC-TAB-seq.

Rapid Identification of Restriction Systems that Prevent DNA Transformation of Uncharacterized Bacteria
New 4mC-specific sequencing strategy will help uncover and facilitate investigation of 4mC in bacterial R-M systems and can advance the rapid and efficient genetic engineering of these bacteria in the future.

July 01, 2015

Imaging with HPFM (a,c,e,g) complemented with confocal Raman (b,d,f,h) cross-section of fresh (a,b), (...more)

New Hybrid Microscope Provide Unparalleled Submicron View of Plant Cell Walls
A novel, noninvasive method to explore submicron structures of biomass before and after treatment. Researchers will be able to study samples ranging from naturally occurring biological polymers, tissues and plant cells to engineered nanoparticles and nanostructures.

June 22, 2015

Green: Fungal mycelia Red: Root cell membrane

Novel Delivery System for Root Symbiotic Fungus, Sebacina vermifera, Enhances Biomass yield of Low Lignin Switchgrass Lines
S. vermifera colonization enhanced plant biomass growth by 15-50% independent of delivery method; however, clay-based delivery system increased the percentage of fungal biomass in planta. Root biomass and fungal colonization was significantly improved with clay-based system.

June 08, 2015

Transport energy use by fuel and year, displaced CO2 emissions by fuel and year, and tota (...more)

Making the Case for Why Biofuels are Needed to Achieve Low-Carbon Transport Through 2050 and Beyond
Even with aggressive reductions in travel growth, shifts to mass transport modes, strong efficiency improvements and deep market penetration by electricity and hydrogen, there remains a large demand for dense liquid fuels: 80% of transport energy demand in 2050, and 50% in 2075. If conventional fossil fuels were used to meet this demand, emissions from the transportation sector would exceed the economy-wide emissions consistent with the two degree scenario. It will likely be difficult to achieve a low-carbon transport sector without widespread use of biofuels.

June 01, 2015

Kevin Wenger of Mascoma, a subsidiary of Lallemand, LLC and Paul Gilna of BESC

BESC Partner Mascoma Launches C5 FUEL™ — A Yeast Engineered for Improved Cellulosic Biofuel Production
The new strain of yeast simultaneously yields 97 percent conversion of xylose – the C5 sugar – and glucose and it accomplishes this feat in less than 48 hours. The launch of a commercially available product designed for producers in the cellulosic biofuels market is an important milestone for BESC and the BRC program.

May 29, 2015

Book edited by BESC Scientist on Consolidated Bioprocessing
Mike Himmel has edited a new book on "Direct Microbial Conversion of Biomass to Advanced Biofuels," Elsevier, London/New York, NY. 2015. Several chapters report on BESC work and acknowledge BER support.

May 14, 2015

Perspective: Potential Impact of Modern Biotechnology on Future Supply of Biofuels
This study assesses the feasibility and advantages of near-future (10-year) biotechnological developments for a U.S. biomass-based supply chain for bioenergy production.

April 27, 2015

DOE Bioenergy Research Centers Well Represented at the 37th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals — 2015
19% of oral presentations were from BESC, GLBRC and JBEI (26 out of 138) and approximately 27 BRC posters were presented. There were 650 attendees from academia, industry and government.

April 15, 2015

Glucose Regression Model

Pyrolysis Molecular Beam Mass Spectrometry as a High-throughput Method for Determining Biomass Sugar Content
Py-MBMS can be used to estimate sugar content of biomass using regression models. The method is much faster (< 2 min/sample) than traditional hydrolysis followed by HPLC with much less sample preparation. This method introduces a new, high-throughput technique for sugar compositional analysis. The py-MBMS spectra can also be used to estimate lignin and S/G ratio, providing a comprehensive analysis.

More Publications

Publication Date Citation

BioEnergy Science Center one of three DOE Bioenergy Research Centers established by the U.S. Department of Energy.