275063 Medium and High Through-Put Characterization of Biofuel Feedstocks

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Erica Gjersing1, Angela Ziebell2, Robert Sykes1, Geoffrey Turner3, Renee Happs1, Melvin Tucker1, Stephen R. Decker4, Mark F. Davis2 and Brian H. Davison5, (1)National Bioenergy Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, (2)National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, (3)BioSciences Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, golden, CO, (4)Biosciences Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, (5)Biosciences Division, BioEnergy Science Center and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Abstract:  The high through-put pipeline has analyzed tens of thousands of samples using NREL’s high through-put (HTP) pipeline which characterizes cell wall chemistry and sugar release on pretreatment and enzymatic saccharification (Sykes et al. 2008; Selig et al. 2011).  In the last year we have added two new capabilities and worked increasingly closely with plant groups to analyze their data. 

The characterization group works together with plant biologist to understand the chemical modifications occurring when plants are genetically modified and why they might cause changes in recalcitrance to pretreatment and saccharification.  The characterization group also studies natural populations to understand how natural populations vary and what we might learn from natural diversity.  

Plant cell wall sugar content is being determined by a HTP NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) adaptation to NREL’s traditional wet chemistry analysis.  This technique is also being used to assess the tendency of a plant to produce inhibitors e.g. furfural and HMF.  The method uses proton NMR and Partial Least Squares analysis in conjunction with a set of standards which have the full wet chemistry method.  The current NMR facility houses a HTP NMR sample changer which can house >500 samples at a time and sample analysis time take 1-2 minutes.  The original full wet chemistry method has also been down scaled to 1/300th by researchers at University of California Riverside and is available for high through-put analysis (DeMartini et al. 2011).


DeMartini, J. D., M. H. Studer, et al. (2011). "Small-scale and automatable high-throughput compositional analysis of biomass." Biotechnology and Bioengineering 108(2): 306-312.

Selig, M., M. Tucker, et al. (2011). "High throughput determination of glucan and xylan fractions in lignocelluloses." Biotechnology Letters: 1-7.

Sykes, R., B. Kodrzycki, et al. (2008). "Within tree variability of lignin composition in Populus." Wood Science and Technology 42: 649-661.

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See more of this Session: Poster Session: Sustainability and Sustainable Biorefineries
See more of this Group/Topical: Sustainable Engineering Forum