Removing Recalcitrance as an Economic Barrier for Sustainable Cellulosic Biofuels
The resistance of plant biomass to degradation (biomass recalcitrance) is the primary barrier impeding economical access to fermentable sugars that can be converted into advanced biofuels that replace petroleum. Convinced that biotechnological approaches hold the most promise for achieving breakthroughs to overcome the recalcitrance barrier, the BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) is developing plants that are easier to deconstruct and microbes that more effectively convert lignocellulose into simple sugars. This research is centered on three focus areas: (1) biomass formation and modification, (2) biomass dconstruction and conversion, and (3) enabling technologies.
BESC research involves working with two potential bioenergy crops (switchgrass and poplar) to develop varieties that are easier to break down into fermentable sugars and to understand how plant cell walls are formed and can be modified to improve sugar release.
BESC research in biomass deconstruction and conversion targets consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) by studying model organisms and thermophilic anaerobes to understand novel strategies and enzyme complexes for biomass deconstruction. CPB is a single-step process to both deconstruct biomass and ferment resulting sugars to fuels.
BESC researchers in characterization, modeling, and data management areas are engaged in (1) applying advanced technologies to analyze chemical and structural changes within biomass, and (2) storing, tracking, analyzing, and integrating data and understanding across the center.
Identification of key transcription factor that controls chlorophyll degradation and leaf senescence
New Insights into Biomass Deconstruction from Deletion of Genes in Caldicellulosiruptor
Rapid gene discovery and validation using the BESC Populus association population
Characterization of various alkaline pretreatment methods on cellulose structure and accessibility (A joint BESC/ORNL Biofuels SFA effort)
BESC Novel Approach to Bioenergy Outreach and Education
Switchgrass transcription factors linked to nutrient efficiency in senescence
Toward improving tolerance of thermophilic microorganisms to pretreatment inhibitors
Field performance of modified switchgrass demonstrates a 'Goldilocks Effect'
High-Performance Computing Delineates Chemistry of Lignin Synthesis
Review paper summarizes insights from 20 years of bacterial genome sequencing
Release of a genome dataset comprised of results from multiple sequencing modalities
- view document] Complete Genome Sequences of Caldicellulosiruptor sp. Strain Rt8.B8, Caldicellulosiruptor sp. Strain Wai35.B1, and “Thermoanaerobacter cellulolyticus” [
- view document] Development of a regulatable plasmid-based gene expression system for Clostridium thermocellum [
- view document] The impact of biotechnological advances on the future of U.S. bioenergy [
- Genome sequence of halomonas sp. strain KO116 an ionic liquid-tolerant marine bacterium isolated from a lignin-enriched seawater microcosm [document not available]
- view document] How cell wall complexity influences saccharificatin efficiency in Miscanthus sinensis [
- Recombinant Gram-Positive Microorganism Growing on Cellulose asas the Sole Carbon Source in Defined Media
- Restriction / Modifiction Polypetides, Polynucleotides, and Methods
- Selection of celluloytic microbes with high growth rates
- Inorganic Nanoporous Membranes for High Temperature Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Biomass
- A Broad Environmental Stress-Inducible Promoter and its Application in Crops
This is a random selection of BESC's intellectual property available for licensing. See all 32.
- Olivia Thompson First-generation college student helps fuel development of biomass
- James Liao of UCLA elected member of the National Academy of Sceinces
- New ORNL N.C. State, LanzaTech DNA dataset is potent, accessible tool
- UGA Rsearchers create fast-growing trees that are easier to turn into fuel
- Unique Proteins Found in Heat-Loving Organisms Bind Well to Plant Matter
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