The Bioenergy Research Unit contains a fully integrated research program specializing in biochemical conversion of lignocelluloses to sugars, chemicals, and biofuels. The well-balanced program includes both applied and fundamental research. Scientists in the group work on each major step of the conversion process: preprocessing, novel enzymes for carbohydrate extraction, and developing commercially relevant microbes for fermentation. The unit also has expertise in process modeling and cost estimation.
Determine the metabolic, physiologic, and genetic fundamentals of microbial stress-tolerance to engineer improved strains and processes leading to lower cost production of biofuels and bioproducts.
Industrial Enzymes and Microorganisms:
Develop industrially robust enzymes and microorganisms for lower-cost conversion of agricultural biomass to fuel ethanol and other value-added fermentation products, apply conversion technology to identify superior energy crops.
Production of Biofuels & Chemicals from Lignocellulosic Biomass:
Develop cost-effective pretreatment, enzymatic saccharification, fermentation, and downstream processing technologies and their integration for production of biofuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass.