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Supercomputing Improves Biomass Fuel Conversion

Reprinted from UCR News

In a leap forward that could be a game changer for understanding how plant biomass can be more efficiently broken down, a research team at the University of California, Riverside have joined forces with teams at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Central Florida to create a chemical roadmap to breach these defenses. 

Charles Cai, an assistant research engineer at the Center for Environmental Research and Technology in the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering at UC Riverside, and Abhishek S. Patri, a doctoral student in chemical and environmental engineering, led a team of researchers taking a new direction to focus on identifying highly specialized co-solvents, substances added to a primary solvent to make it more effective, that can facilitate milder temperature solvation and release of lignin from the plant cell walls. This is known as a “lignin-first” approach to breaking down biomass. 

Read the full article here. This work was also featured on the EurekaAlert website.