Enzyme Research Could Lead to Less Expensive Biofuels

New research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has discovered two approaches in which enzymes could break down cell walls more quickly and lead to less expensive biofuels for the transportation industry.

Five NREL scientists and one scientist from the Weizmann Institute of Israel conducted research that could lead to enzymes helping create less expensive biofuel. Their paper, “Fungal Cellulases and Complexed Cellulosomal Enzymes Exhibit Synergistic Mechanisms in Cellulose Deconstruction”, has been published in Energy and Environmental Science.

In order to reach the goal of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which involves the U.S. producing 36 billion gallons of biofuel each year by 2022, the high cost of enzyme treatment needs to be properly addressed. Enzyme treatment is a critical step in transforming biomass, such as trees and switchgrass, into liquid fuel. Microorganisms secrete the enzymes that naturally degrade plant cell walls and harvesting their sugars.

NREL scientists discovered that two enzyme paradigms, free and complex enzymes, can be used together to degrade biomass at the nanometer scale and enhances catalytic performance. By combining the two enzyme systems, the breakdown of cell walls becomes a faster and more efficient process, which could then make biofuel production a less expensive and time-consuming process, as well.

Download Center

  • Monitoring and Reporting on Air Emissions for Regulators and the Real World

    When it comes to managing compliance and regulatory issues surrounding air emissions, there are no easy jobs. With interviews from practitioners from American Electric Power, Red Cedar Gathering, Trinity Consultants, and Cority, this eBook provides practical advice to advance your air emissions monitoring and reporting programs.

  • What Every EHS Professional Should Know About ESG

    Join experts from Arcadis and Cority on April 27th to learn the most common ESG reporting frameworks and how technology can help you improve reporting efficiency, identify areas for improvement, and create defensible audit trails.

  • Green Quadrant EHS Software 2021

    Read the new report by independent analyst firm, Verdantix, to get an unbiased comparison of the 22 most prominent EHS software vendors in the industry.

  • RFP Template for Waste Management Software

    Learn the essential questions to ask when evaluating waste management software solutions with this free, ready-to-use RFP template

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

Featured Webinar