Navigation Links
Center to investigate plant cells for better biomass fuels

Cutting edge approaches and methodology employed by plant and molecular biologists, chemists, physicists, material scientists, computational modelers and engineers will be applied to plant cells in the newly funded Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation, a Department of Energy, Energy Frontier Research Center at Penn State.

The DOE plans to fund the Center for $21 million over five years. Daniel J. Cosgrove, professor of biology, will direct the Center in its efforts to increase our knowledge of the physical structure of the biopolymers in plant cell walls and improve methods for converting plant biomass into fuel. The funding for this center is contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The Lignocellulose Center is one of 46 EFRC centers formed nationwide by the DOE to address fundamental issues in fields ranging from solar energy and electric storage to materials sciences, biofuels and carbon capture and sequestration. The Center has planned collaboration with researchers at North Carolina State University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

"The biggest solar collectors on Earth are plants, which use sunlight to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into complex structural materials like cellulose and lignin," said Cosgrove. "These make up wood, paper, cotton and many other everyday materials and globally represent a huge untapped reserve of biorenewable energy. Our new center will try to pry loose the secrets of how these molecules interact to form these substances that have so many practical uses as an energy source and a material."

Nanoscale investigations into the physical structure of lignocellulose -- the part of plants composed of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin --will reveal the rules and principles behind the plant's manufacture of this bio-polymer. Researchers will be looking for the "rules of assembly" for the plant wall. These include cellulose synthesis, lignocellulose assembly and the relationship between nanoscale structure and macroscale properties including porosity and plant cell wall mechanics.

Penn State also has researchers participating in three other EFRCs: Computational Catalysis and Atomic-Level Synthesis of Materials: Building Effective Catalysts from First Principles, Louisiana State University; Polymer-Based Materials for Harvesting Solar Energy, University of Massachusetts, and Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
Penn State

Related biology news :

1. Georgia Tech/Emory Center to study origin of life
2. Woods Hole Research Center to lead undergraduate initiative in the Siberian Arctic
3. $10 million gift to support cutting-edge epigenome center at USC
4. 3 Columbia University Medical Center faculty elected to Institute of Medicine
5. NHGRI funds new Centers for Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research
6. NYUs Center for Genomics & Systems Biology receives $4.4 million NSF grant
7. Monsanto expands sponsorship for Peking-Yale Joint Agrobiotechnology Center
8. Woods Hole Research Center debuts new image mosaic that will strengthen global forest monitoring
9. DFG to establish 10 new collaborative research centers
10. Ireland Cancer Center researchers advance stem cell gene therapy
11. Manomet Center awarded major NFWF grant to foster shorebird conservation
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/17/2015)... Paris from 17 th until 19 th ... from 17 th until 19 th November 2015.   ... the first combined scanner in the world which scans both ... two different scanners were required: one for passports and one ... same surface. This innovation is an ideal solution for electronic ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... Nov. 12, 2015  A golden retriever that stayed ... dystrophy (DMD) has provided a new lead for treating ... the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the ... . Cell, pinpoints a protective ... the disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s lab of ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... 2015 About signature verification ... to identify and verify the identity of an ... the secure and accurate method of authentication and ... individual because each individual,s signature is highly unique. ... dynamic signature of an individual is compared and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Malaysia , Nov. 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific ... contract research organisation (CRO) market. The trend of ... in lower margins but higher volume share for ... capacity and scale, however, margins in the CRO ... Organisation (CRO) Market ( ), finds ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Copper is an essential ... bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to cells. With a $1.3 million ... (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper in the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... PHILADELPIA, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... young entrepreneurs at competitive events in five states to develop and pitch their BIG ... student projects from each state are competing for votes to win the title of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... (the "Company") announced today that the remaining 11,000 ... Common Share Purchase Warrants (the "Series B Warrants") ... agreement were exercised on November 23, 2015, which ... Common Shares.  After giving effect to the issuance ...
Breaking Biology Technology: