Gracielou Klinger likes to describe the chemicals she uses in her research at Michigan State University (MSU) as “smelly.” Klinger, a biochemistry graduate student in the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), studies how smelly chemi
Jeremy Luterbacher, a UW-Madison postdoctoral researcher and the paper's lead author, explains how the Dumesic Lab uses gamma valerolactone, or GVL, to deconstruct plants and produce sugars that can be chemically or biologically upgraded into biofuels.
For decades, John Ralph’s group has been focusing its expertise in biology, chemistry and engineering on one of the most persistent hurdles to a bio-based fuel economy: lignin. As the organic polymer that binds plant cell, vessel and fiber cell walls, lignin resists chemical and enzymatic processing and thus acts as a structural barrier to converting biomass into liquid fuels.
Michigan Biotechnology Institute (MBI) and Michigan State University (MSU) welcomed President Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to campus and the MBI facility on February 7, 2014. The President and Secretary Vilsack toured the MBI facility prior to President Obama signing the Farm Bill at MSU’s Mary Anne McPhail Equine Performance Center.
Using a plant-derived chemical, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have developed a process for creating a concentrated stream of sugars that’s ripe with possibility for biofuels. With support from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the team will begin scaling up the process later this year.
When it comes to biofuels, corn leads the all-important category of biomass yield. However, focusing solely on yield comes at a high price.
Rows of corn and soybeans cover rolling hills, stitched together by creeks and woodlands that compose southwest Wisconsin’s agricultural patchwork. These complex landscapes provide clean water, wildlife habitat and climate benefits—yet, historically their value has been measured in just one way: bushels per acre.
Our society is currently having serious debates about sources of energy and global climate change. But do students (and the public) have the requisite knowledge to engage these issues as informed citizenry?
At Michigan State University, members of research and industry are working together to put a pioneering biomass pretreatment process to the test—the taste test, that is.
Trying to understand how the structural polymer lignin is deposited in plant tissues is a bit like trying to understand bone growth in a human: it is very tricky to observe in a living specimen.