Overcoming the challenges of turning plants into fuels

In this Sustainable Energy Seminar, Xuejun Pan, Professor of Biological Systems Engineering, will discuss the challenges of breaking down lignocellulosic biomass into renewable fuels, as well as some research advances to overcome those challenges.

Seminar Presentation Video (passcode required: 2ZbjJHcA ) 

Why cellulosic ethanol production is challenging: The recalcitrance of lignocellulosic biomass to microbial and enzymatic deconstruction

Abstract: Cellulosic ethanol is a promising next-generation biofuel but currently not economically or technically competitive to starch (corn) or sugar ethanol. A key reason is the recalcitrant (resistant) nature of lignocellulosic biomass (e.g., corn stover, switchgrass, and wood chips) toward the microbial and enzymatic deconstruction and conversion of cellulose to ethanol, attributed to the tough and strong structure of biomass, the macromolecular features of cellulose, and the presence of lignin. In this presentation, we will discuss why and how the biomass is recalcitrant and what we can do to overcome the recalcitrance.

Registration is required for this online seminar through WebEx Events. Click here to register for this and all other seminars as part of the Sustainable Energy Seminar series.