BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

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

BER Research Highlights


Improving Access to Cellulose in Biomass for Biofuel Production
Published: March 01, 2011
Posted: April 08, 2011

The conversion of cellulosic biomass to fermentable sugars usually requires costly, time-consuming pretreatment to increase the material’s porosity, decrease its crystallinity, and reduce the amount of structural lignin in the cell wall. Researchers used small-angle neutron scattering at the High-Flux Isotope Reactor to probe the morphological changes of switchgrass cell walls during dilute acid pretreatment, elucidating the interplay of different biomolecular components in the breakdown process. The results are important for the development of efficient strategies to convert biomass to biofuel.

Reference: Pingali, S. V., et al. 2010. “Breakdown of Cell Wall Nanostructure in Dilute Acid Pretreated Biomass,” Biomacromolecules 11, 2329–35.

Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Plant Systems and Feedstocks, Plant-Microbe Interactions
  • Research Area: Sustainable Biofuels and Bioproducts
  • Research Area: Structural Biology, Biomolecular Characterization and Imaging
  • Research Area: Structural Biology Infrastructure

Division: SC-33.2 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

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco
Objectives

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)