U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

New Microfluidic Chips for Large-Scale Screening of Biomass Hydrolysis
Published: November 01, 2010
Posted: November 05, 2010

Large numbers of cellulose enzymes, the enzymes used to break down cellulosic biomass to produce fermentable sugars, need to be screened to identify the best enzymes and the most effective processing conditions for biofuel production from cellulosic biomass. Researchers at DOE's Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have developed a new microfluidic chip-based assay to rapidly and precisely characterize biomass hydrolysis products, especially glycan and xylan sugars. They solved the difficult challenge of separating and identifying these closely related sugars by modeling and optimizing the process in the microfluidic system. They describe the use of this new system, demonstrating its ability to rapidly screen for hydrolysis products on the order of one minute. These results suggest that that this new system could be adapted to large-scale, rapid characterization of cellulase enzyme cocktails. This study was featured on the November 15, 2010 cover of Analytical Chemistry.

Reference: Bharadwaj, R., Z. Chen, S. Data, B.M. Holmes, R. Sapra, B.A. Simmons, P.D. Adams, and A.K. Singh. 2010. "Microfluidic Glycosyl Hydrolase Screening for Biomass-to-Biofuel Conversion," Analytical Chemistry. Released online on October 22, 2010, DOI: 10.1021/ac102243f/

Contact: Susan Gregurick, SC-23.2, (301) 903-7672
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Plant Systems and Feedstocks, Plant-Microbe Interactions
  • Research Area: Sustainable Biofuels and Bioproducts
  • Research Area: DOE Bioenergy Research Centers (BRC)
  • Research Area: Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, Modeling

Division: SC-23.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)