Scientists Find Non-Uniformity in Molecular Structure of Cellulose

http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/14282/

Researchers at Washington State University Tri-Cities and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have discovered the molecular structure of cellulose, which could lead to cheaper and more efficient ways to make bioproducts.

The researchers discovered differences between the surface layers and the crystalline core of cellulose using Total Internal Reflection Sum Frequency Generation Vibrational Spectroscopy (TIR-SFG-VS) and conventional SFG-VS. The discovery of this non-uniformity in the structure of cellulose can be a key to improve the efficiency of industrial application of cellulose. It may also lead to modification of the current procedures for biofuel production and pretreatment.

Understanding the cellulosic biomass recalcitrance at the molecular level is a vital step towards overcoming the barrier to production of cost-competitive cellulosic biofuels. While plant cell walls are complex, recent advances in analytical chemistry and genomics have enhanced understanding of cellulosic biomass recalcitrance.


 

This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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