(284g) Strategies to Generate Biofuels From Cellulosic Biomass By Overcoming Biomass Recalcitrance At the Bioenergy Science Center

Davison, B. H., BioEnergy Science Center and Oak Ridge National Laboratory

 Strategies to Generate Biofuels from Cellulosic Biomass by Overcoming Biomass Recalcitrance at the Bioenergy Science Center

Brian H. Davison1 and Paul Gilna1

1BioEnergy Science Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee


The challenge of producing and converting sustainable cellulosic biomass into fuels presents the opportunity for science and technology to make an appreciable national and global impact in the next 20 years. However, recalcitrance, or overcoming the inability to easily access the sugars and other monomers from cellulosic sources in order to make fuels or other products, is one of the major challenges for cost-effective biofuel production. The primary goal of the Department of Energy-funded BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) is to enable the emergence of a sustainable cellulosic biofuels industry by leading advances in science and science-based innovation resulting in removal of recalcitrance as an economic barrier.  Transformative advances to understand biomass recalcitrance require detailed scientific knowledge of (1) the chemical and physical properties of biomass that influence recalcitrance, (2) how these properties can be altered by engineering plant biosynthetic pathways, and (3) how such changes affect biomass-biocatalyst interactions during deconstruction by enzymes and microorganisms.  The BESC team is applying the knowledge gained from these activities to carry out approaches based on both improved plant and microbial components to improve generation of fuels from biomass resources as well as enabling technologies (www.bioenergycenter.org).