Supercomputing improves biomass fuel conversion

August 3, 2019 |

In California, researchers at University of California combine supercomputing with nano-imaging to reveal how to efficiently break down plant biomass and transform it into transportation fuels.

In a leap forward that could be a game changer for understanding how plant biomass can be more efficiently broken down, the UC researchers joined forces with teams at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Central Florida to create a chemical roadmap to breach these defenses.

In order to access the energy-rich sugars found in the plant cell walls, researchers have renewed focus on solvating lignin, a complex polymer also found in plant cell walls that acts as a natural shield, blocking both chemical and biological attack. Lignin is particularly effective in preventing commercial enzymes from digesting cellulose, which makes up the bulk of sugars found in biomass.

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Category: Research

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