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Utilization of biomass for thermochemical conversion

Research Achievements

Utilization of biomass for thermochemical conversion

John Field (Mech Engr) and Paul Tanger (Plant Sciences) conducted an interdisciplinary study assessing the utilization of biomass for thermochemical conversion. Greater understanding of genetic control of plant cell wall composition can assist efforts to develop crops that are more feasible for thermochemical conversion, leading to greater availability of biomass feedstocks for biofuel production. The team of molecular biologists and engineers used data to model a variety of thermochemical conversion processes and to create a list of desired characteristics for feedstocks that can result in conversion to a usable fuel source with fewer processing steps. Results from this project suggested that the plant genome can be manipulated to more effectively be thermoconverted, but there is still more research necessary to decrease the number of processing steps, thereby ensuring that biomass is a more viable energy source. The results were published in Frontiers in Plant Biotechnology.