Characterizing biomass to produce greener fuels, materials, and chemicals
The Biomaterials and Biomass Characterization Group performs multidisciplinary cutting-edge research for the Department of Energy's missions in the biological and environmental sciences and other relevant areas. The group employs laser and magnetic resonance spectroscopy to characterize plant biomass, biomass conversion processes for renewable fuels, processes for recycling and upcycling of plastic wastes, and bioderived materials, including 3D-printed polymers and composites. Researchers also characterize a wide range of other chemicals and materials, including nuclear materials, and employ laser spectroscopy to detect rare earths. The group applies expertise in physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, bioprocess engineering, materials engineering, microbiology, biochemistry, laser spectroscopy, and plant anatomy and physiology. These disciplines are integrated to drive advances in the fundamental understanding of plant cell wall polysaccharides and lignin and in technology development to produce greener chemicals and materials.