(675e) Advances in the Use of NMR to Characterize Biomass in An Effort to Elucidate the Nature of Recalcitrance

Authors: 
Foston, M., Georgia Institute of Technology
Ragauskas, A., BioEnergy Science Center
Gilna, P., Oak Ridge National Laboratory


NMR spectroscopy has become one of the most important methods for biomass and biopolymer characterization. High resolution solution 1H, 13C and 31P 1D and 2D NMR spectra have been shown to play a key role in characterizing major biomass constituent chemistry and in understanding mechanisms of plant cell wall growth and deconstruction. Solid state NMR has also been used to probe the structure, conformation, and organization of cell wall polymers in their native state. Because of the importance of understanding biomass recalcitrance to the biofuel industry, substantial efforts have been made in expansion of the use of NMR spectroscopy to characterize biomass. This work will review key issues related to biomass recalcitrance including the chemical, supramolecular and ultrastructural changes that can be achieved by pretreatment and enzymatic deconstruction as measured by new NMR methodologies including: dynamics and diffusion measurements, multidimensional NMR and rapid quantitative analytical techniques. The results of this study highlight key changes in biomass that reduce recalcitrance and need to be further optimized to reduce the overall complexity of 2nd and 3rd generation biofuels

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