Wednesday, February 6, 2013

NREL breaks new ground in plant pretreatment for biofuels

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
and BioEnergy Science Center combined different microscopic imaging methods to gain a greater understanding of the relationships between biomass cell wall structure and enzyme digestibility. This breakthrough could lead to optimizing sugar yields and lowering the costs of making biofuels.

NREL author and researcher
Shi-You Ding uses an atomic force
microscope to image biomass and
its enzymatic hydrolysis in real time.
Photo by Pat Corkery, NREL 15631

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