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
Overexpression of gibberellin 2-oxidases leads to reduced recalcitrance in switchgrass
ORNL TITAN supercomputer used to determine molecular basis of reduced recalcitrance
- view document] Rapid estimation of sugar release from winter wheat straw during bioethanol production using FTIR-photoacoustic spectroscopy [
- view document] Cofactor specificity of the bifunctional alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase (AdhE) in wild-type and mutants of Clostridium thermocellum and thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum [
- view document] Genome-scale resources for Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum [
- view document] A Novel Delivery Systemfor the Root Symbiotic Fungus, Sebacina vermifera, and Consequent Biomass Enhancement of Low Lignin COMT Switchgrass Lines [
- view document] The need for biofuels as part of a low carbon energy future [
- Inorganic Nanoporous Membranes for High Temperature Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Biomass
- Higher Yielding Biomass Plants Developed Utilizing Newly Discovered Cell Wall Structures and Proteins
- Recombinant Gram-Positive Microorganism Growing on Cellulose asas the Sole Carbon Source in Defined Media
- Regulating Nutrient Allocation in Plants
- Mode-synthesizing Atomic Force Microscopy (MSAFM) and Mode-Synthesizing Sensing (MSS)
This is a random selection of BESC's intellectual property available for licensing. See all 32.
- BESC, Mascoma develop revolutionary microbe for biofuel production
- 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
- Keep up with BESC on our blog