Our Guest Editors for Biotechnology for Biofuels: Drs. Breeanna Urbanowicz, Maria Peña, and William Barnes of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center at the University of Georgia present a series on the topic of “Analytical Methods in Plant Biomass Characterization and Valorization.”
The importance of plant biomass in the emerging bioeconomy cannot be understated, as it is a highly-abundant renewable resource that is the foundation for the production of second-generation biofuels, chemicals, and novel materials. Plant cell walls play an economically-relevant and ubiquitous role in almost every aspect of life, but we still lack a comprehensive understanding of cell wall structure and organization. Furthermore, understanding how plants synthesize, modify, and degrade their cell walls throughout development is crucial for genetic engineering and targeted genomics efforts focused on designing high-yielding, stress-tolerant crops. In order to advance our society beyond the limitations imposed by fossil-derived feedstocks, we must exploit the valorization potential of renewable plant feedstocks, including lignins, oils, and other carbon-rich compounds. To achieve these goals, there is an increasing need to understand biomass structure and properties.
In this special series of Biotechnology for Biofuels, we aim to explore methods for the characterization and utilization of these energy-rich and renewable resources to inform future efforts toward increasing plant productivity and biomass valorization.
This collection is now closed to new submissions.