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NREL publishes biomass journal articles, technical reports, conference papers, and outreach documents. Explore a sampling of our most recent or often-cited publications in:

For the complete collection of NREL's biomass publications, search the NREL Publications Database. For information on biomass policy, read congressional testimony of NREL managers.

Biomass Characterization

At the Biomass Compositional Analysis Laboratory NREL scientists have more than 20 years of experience supporting the biomass conversion industry.

NREL biomass analysis scientists use near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy to predict the composition of a variety of biomass types. Learn more: Biomass Compositional Analysis: NIR Rapid Methods.

Predicting Enzyme Adsorption to Lignin Films by Calculating Enzyme Surface Hydrophobicity. Sammond, D. W.; Yarbrough, J. M.; Mansfield, E.; Bomble, Y. J.; Hobdey, S. E.; Decker, S. R.; Taylor, L. E.; Resch, M. G.; Bozell, J. J.; Himmel, M. E.; Vinzant, T. B.; Crowley, M. F. Journal of Biological Chemistry. Vol. 289(30), 25 July 2014; pp. 20960-20969; NREL Report No. JA-2700-62144.

Engineering Plant Cell Walls: Tuning Lignin Monomer Composition for Deconstructable Biofuel Feedstocks or Resilient Biomaterials. Ciesielski, P. N.; Resch, M. G.; Hewetson, B.; Killgore, J. P.; Curtin, A.; Anderson, N.; Chiaramonti, A. N.; Hurley, D. C.; Sanders, A.; Himmel, M. E.; Chapple, C.; Mosier, N.; Donohoe, B. S. Green Chemistry. Vol. 16(5), 1 May 2014; pp. 2627-2635; NREL Report No. JA-2700-60947.

Multiscale Deconstruction of Molecular Architecture in Corn Stover. Inouye, H.; Zhang, Y.; Yang, L.; Venugopalan, N.; Fischetti, R. F.; Gleber, S. C.; Vogt, S.; Fowle, W.; Makowski, B.; Tucker, M.; Ciesielski, P.; Donohoe, B.; Matthews, J.; Himmel, M. E.; Makowski, L. Scientific Reports. Vol. 4, 20 January 2014; 7 pp.; NREL Report No. JA-5100-61465.

Enhanced Characteristics of Genetically Modified Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) for High Biofuel Production. Shen, H.; Poovaiah, C. R.; Ziebell, A.; Tschaplinski, T. J.; Pattathil, S.; Gjersing, E.; Engle, N. L.; Katahira, R.; Pu, Y. Q.; Sykes, R.; Chen, F.; Ragauskas, A. J.; Mielenz, J. R.; Hahn, M. G.; Davis, M.; Stewart, C. N.; Dixon, R. A. Biotechnology for Biofuels. Vol. 6(5), 7 May 2013; 15 pp.; NREL Report No. JA-5100-60305.

Multivariate Calibration Models for Sorghum Composition using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy. Wolfrum, E.; Payne, C.; Stefaniak, T.; Rooney, W.; Dighe, N.; Bean, B.; Dahlberg, J. 14 pp. NREL Report No. TP-5100-56838 (March 2013).

Hydrocarbon Renewable and Synthetic Diesel Fuel Blendstocks: Composition and Properties. Smagala, T. G.; Christensen, E.; Christison, K. M.; Mohler, R. E.; Gjersing, E.; McCormick, R. L. Energy and Fuels. Vol. 27(1), 17 January 2013; pp. 237-246; NREL Report No. JA-5400-55042.

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Biochemical Conversion

Process Design and Economics for the Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Hydrocarbons: Dilute-Acid and Enzymatic Deconstruction of Biomass to Sugars and Catalytic Conversion of Sugars to Hydrocarbons. Davis, R.; Tao, L.; Scarlata, C.; Tan, E.C.D.; Ross, J.; Lukas, J.; Sexton, D. 133 pp. NREL Report No. TP-5100-62498 (March 2015).

Lignin Valorization Through Integrated Biological Funneling and Chemical Catalysis. Linger, J. G.; Vardon, D. R.; Guarnieri, M. T.; Karp, E. M.; Hunsinger, G. B.; Franden, M. A.; Johnson, C. W.; Chupka, G.; Strathmann, T. J.; Pienkos, P. T.; Beckham, G. T. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Vol. 111(33), 19 August 2014; pp. 12013-12018.

Lignin Plays a Negative Role in the Biochemical Process for Producing Lignocellulosic Biofuels. Zeng, Y.; Zhao, S.; Yang, S.; Ding, S. Y. Current Opinion in Biotechnology. Vol. 27, June 2014; pp. 38-45; NREL Report No. JA-2700-60111.

Alkaline Pretreatment of Corn Stover: Bench-Scale Fractionation and Stream Characterization. Karp, E. M.; Donohoe, B. S.; O'Brien, M. H.; Ciesielski, P. N.; Mittal, A.; Biddy, M. J.; Beckham, G. T. ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering. Vol. 2(6), 2 June 2014; pp. 1481-1491; NREL Report No. JA-5100-61532.

Carbon Dioxide Conversion by Reverse Water-Gas Shift Chemical Looping on Perovskite-Type Oxides. Daza, Y. A.; Kent, R. A.; Yung, M. M.; Kuhn, J. N. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. Vol. 53(14), 9 April 2014; pp. 5828-5837; NREL Report No. JA-5100-61984.

Biomass Feedstocks for Renewable Fuel Production: A Review of the Impacts of Feedstock and Pretreatments on the Yield and Product Distribution of Fast Pyrolysis Bio-Oils and Vapors. Carpenter, D.; Westover, T. L.; Czernick, S.; Jablonski, W. Green Chemistry. Vol. 16(2), 1 February 2014; pp. 384-406; NREL Report No. JA-5100-60099.

Process Design and Economics for the Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Hydrocarbons: Dilute-Acid and Enzymatic Deconstruction of Biomass to Sugars and Biological Conversion of Sugars to Hydrocarbons. Davis, R.; Tao, L.; Tan, E.C.D.; Biddy, M.J.; Beckham, G.T.; Scarlata, C.; Jacobson, J.; Cafferty, K.; Ross, J.; Lukas, J.: Knorr, D.; Schoen, P. 147 pp. NREL Report No. NREL-TP-5100-60223 (October 2013).

Fungal Cellulases and Complexed Cellulosomal Enzymes Exhibit Synergistic Mechanisms in Cellulose Deconstruction. Resch, M. G.; Donohoe, B. S.; Baker, J. O.; Decker, S. R.; Bayer, E. A.; Beckham, G. T.; Himmel, M. E. Energy & Environmental Science. Vol. 6(6), June 2013; pp. 1858-1867; NREL Report No. JA-2700-58700.

Process Design and Economics for Biochemical Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Ethanol: Dilute-Acid Pretreatment and Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Corn Stover. Humbird, D.; Davis, R.; Tao, L.; Kinchin, C.; Hsu, D.; Aden, A.; Schoen, P.; Lukas, J.; Olthof, B.; Worley, M.; Sexton, D.; Dudgeon, D. 147 pp. NREL Report No. TP-5100-47764 (May 2011).

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Thermochemical Conversion

The Laminar Entrained Flow Reactor (LEFR) is a modular, lab-scale, single-user reactor for the study of catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP). NREL's custom-built LEFR system continuously produces char-free pyrolysis vapors and delivers them to a second, independently controlled, catalytic reactor.

Process Design and Economics for the Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Hydrocarbon Fuels: Thermochemical Research Pathways with In Situ and Ex Situ Upgrading of Fast Pyrolysis Vapors. Dutta, A.; Sahir, A.; Tan, E.; Humbird, D.; Snowden-Swan, L.J.; Meyer, P.; Ross, J.; Sexton, D.; Yap, R.; Lukas, J. 275 pp. NREL Report No. NREL/TP-5100-62455; PNNL-23823 (March 2015).

Process Design and Economics for the Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Hydrocarbons via Indirect Liquefaction: Thermochemical Research Pathway to High-Octane Gasoline Blendstock Through Methanol/Dimethyl Ether Intermediates. Tan, E.C.D.; Talmadge, M.; Dutta, A.; Hensley, J.; Schaidle, J.; Biddy, M.; Humbird, D.; Snowden-Swan, L.J.; Ross, J.; Sexton, D.; Yap, R.; Lukas, J. 189 pp. NREL Report No. TP-5100-62402; PNNL-23822 (March 2015).

One Dimensional Steady-State Circulating Fluidized-Bed Reactor Model for Biomass Fast Pyrolysis. Trendewicz, A.; Braun, R.; Dutta, A.; Ziegler, J. Fuel. Vol. 133, 1 October 2014; pp. 253-262; NREL Report No. JA-5100-62259.

Distributed Production of Hydrogen by Auto-Thermal Reforming of Fast Pyrolysis Bio-Oil. Czernik, S.; French, R. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. Vol. 39(2), 13 January 2014; pp. 744-750; NREL Report No. JA-5100-60093.

Catalytic Syngas Purification from Model Biomass Gasification Streams. Steele, A. M.; Poulston, S.; Magrini-Bair, K.; Jablonski, W. Catalysis Today. Vol. 214, 1 October 2013; pp. 74-81; NREL Report No. JA-5100-60333.

Process Design and Economics for Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Ethanol: Thermochemical Pathway by Indirect Gasification and Mixed Alcohol Synthesis. Dutta, A.; Talmadge, M.; Hensley, J.; Worley, M.; Dudgeon, D.; Barton, D.; Groendijk, P.; Ferrari, D.; Stears, B.; Searcy, E. M.; Wright, C. T.; Hess, J. R. 187 pp. NREL Report No. TP-5100-51400 (May 2011).

Pilot-Scale Gasification of Corn Stover, Switchgrass, Wheat Straw, and Wood: 1. Parametric Study and Comparison with Literature. Carpenter, D. L.; Bain, R. L.; Davis, R. E.; Dutta, A.; Feik, C. J.; Gaston, K. R.; Jablonski, W.; Phillips, S. D.; Nimlos, M. R. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. Vol. 49(4), 2010; pp. 1859-1871. NREL Report No. JA-510-45879.

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Chemical and Catalyst Science

NREL's Fuel Synthesis Catalysis Laboratory provides a wide range of capabilities in high-pressure heterogeneous catalyst testing, including hydrocarbon synthesis from biomass-derived syngas and pyrolysis vapors.

A Mechanistic Investigation of Acid-Catalyzed Cleavage of Aryl-Ether Linkages: Implications for Lignin Depolymerization in Acidic Environments. Sturgeon, M. R.; Kim, S.; Lawrence, K.; Paton, R. S.; Chmely, S. C.; Nimlos, M.; Foust, T. D.; Beckham, G. T. ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering. Vol. 2(3), 3 March 2014; pp. 472-485; NREL Report No. JA-5100-60607.

Noble-Metal Catalyzed Hydrodeoxygenation of Biomass-Derived Lignin to Aromatic Hydrocarbons. Laskar, D. D.; Tucker, M. P.; Chen, X.; Helms, G. L.; Yang, B. Green Chemistry. Vol. 16(2), 1 February 2014; pp. 897-910; NREL Report No. JA-5100-61791.

Lignin Depolymerisation by Nickel Supported Layered-Double Hydroxide Catalysts. Sturgeon, M. R.; O'Brien, M. H.; Ciesielski, P. N.; Katahira, R.; Kruger, J. S.; Chmely, S. C.; Hamlin, J.; Lawrence, K.; Hunsinger, G. B.; Foust, T. D.; Baldwin, R. M.; Biddy, M. J.; Beckham, G. T. Green Chemistry. Vol. 16(2), 1 February 2014; pp. 824-835; NREL Report No. JA-5100-60073.

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Integrated Biorefinery Processes

Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility: Partnering with Industry to Advance Biofuels and Bioproducts. 2 pp. NREL Report No. FS-5100-53429 (October 2015).

Investigation of Thermochemical Biorefinery Sizing and Environmental Sustainability Impacts for Conventional Supply System and Distributed Pre-Processing Supply System Designs. Muth, D. J.; Langholtz, M. H.; Tan, E. C. D.; Jacobson, J. J.; Schwab, A.; Wu, M. M.; Argo, A.; Brandt, C. C.; Cafferty, K. G.; Chiu, Y. W.; Dutta, A.; Eaton, L. M.; Searcy, E. M. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. Vol. 8(4), July/August 2014; pp. 545-567; NREL Report No. JA-5100-59143.

Lignin Valorization: Improving Lignin Processing in the Biorefinery. Ragauskas, A. J.; Beckham, G. T.; Biddy, M. J.; Chandra, R.; Chen, F.; Davis, M. F.; Davison, B. H.; Dixon, R. A.; Gilna, P.; Keller, M.; Langan, P.; Naskar, A. K.; Saddler, J. N.; Tschaplinski, T. J.; Tuskan, G. A.; Wyman, C. E. Science. Vol. 344(6185), 16 May 2014; 10 pp.; NREL Report No. JA-5100-62255.

A Perspective on Oxygenated Species in the Refinery Integration of Pyrolysis Oil. Talmadge, M. S.; Baldwin, R. M.; Biddy, M. S.; McCormick, R. L.; Beckham, G. T.; Ferguson, G. A.; Czernick, S.; Magrini-Bair, K. A.; Foust, T. D.; Metelski, P. D.; Hetrick, C.; Nimlos, M. R. Green Chemistry. Vol. 16(2), 1 February 2014; pp. 407-453; NREL Report No. JA-5100-60534.

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Microalgal Biofuels

NREL Algal Biofuels Projects and Partnerships. 4 pp. NREL Report No. BR-5100-60483 (September 2013).

Process Design and Economics for the Conversion of Algal Biomass to Biofuels: Algal Biomass Fractionation to Lipid- and Carbohydrate-Derived Fuel Products. Davis, R.; Kinchin, C.; Markham, J.; Tan, E.; Laurens, L.; Sexton, D.; Knorr, D.; Schoen, P.; Lukas, J. 110 pp. NREL Report No. TP-5100-62368 (September 2014).

Planning for Algal Systems: An Energy-Water-Food Nexus Perspective. Miara, A.; Pienkos, P. T.; Bazilian, M.; Davis, R.; Macknick, J. Industrial Biotechnology. Vol. 10(3), June 2014; pp. 202-211; NREL Report No. JA-6A20-61874.

Efficient Anaerobic Digestion of Whole Microalgae and Lipid-Extracted Microalgae Residues for Methane Energy Production. Zhao, B.; Ma, J.; Zhao, Q.; Laurens, L.; Jarvis, E.; Chen, S.; Frear, C. Bioresource Technology. Vol. 161, June 2014; pp. 423-430; NREL Report No. JA-5100-61996.

Integrated Evaluation of Cost, Emissions, and Resource Potential for Algal Biofuels at the National Scale. Davis, R. E.; Fishman, D. B.; Frank, E. D.; Johnson, M. C.; Jones, S. B.; Kinchin, C. M.; Skaggs, R. L.; Venteris, E. R.; Wigmosta, M. S. Environmental Science and Technology. Vol. 48(10), 20 May 2014; pp. 6035-6042; NREL Report No. JA-5100-61167.

Strain, Biochemistry, and Cultivation-Dependent Measurement Variability of Algal Biomass Composition. Laurens, L. M. L.; Van Wychen, S.; McAllister, J. P.; Arrowsmith, S.; Dempster, T. A.; McGowen, J.; Pienkos, P. T. Analytical Biochemistry. Vol. 452, 1 May 2014; pp. 86-95; NREL Report No. JA-5100-60224.

High-Throughput Quantitative Biochemical Characterization of Algal Biomass by NIR Spectroscopy; Multiple Linear Regression and Multivariate Linear Regression Analysis. Laurens, L. M. L.; Wolfrum, E. J. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Vol. 61(50), 18 December 2013; pp. 12307-12314; NREL Report No. JA-5100-60040.

New Method for Discovery of Starch Phenotypes in Growing Microalgal Colonies. Black, S. K.; Smolinski, S. L.; Feehan, C.; Pienkos, P. T.; Jarvis, E. E.; Laurens, L. M. L. Analytical Biochemistry. Vol. 432(2), 15 January 2013; pp. 71-73; NREL Report No. JA-5100-56120.

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Biomass Process and Sustainability Analyses

Techno-Economic Analysis of Liquid Fuel Production from Woody Biomass via Hydrothermal Liquefaction (HTL) and Upgrading. Zhu, Y.; Biddy, M. J.; Jones, S. B.; Elliott, D. C.; Schmidt, A. J. Applied Energy. Vol. 129, 15 September 2014; pp. 384-394; NREL Report No. JA-5100-61845.

Technoeconomic Analysis for the Production of Mixed Alcohols via Indirect Gasification of Biomass Based on Demonstration Experiments. Dutta, A.; Hensley, J.; Bain, R.; Magrini, K.; Tan, E. C. D.; Apanel, G.; Barton, D.; Groenendijk, P.; Ferrari, D.; Jablonski, W.; Carpenter, D. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. Vol. 53(30), 30 July 2014; pp. 12149-12159; NREL Report No. JA-5100-58467.

Direct Production of Gasoline and Diesel Fuels from Biomass via Integrated Hydropyrolysis and Hydroconversion Process - A Techno-Economic Analysis. Tan, E. C. D.; Marker, T. L.; Roberts, M. J. Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy. Vol. 33(2), July 2014; pp. 609-617; NREL Report No. JA-5100-57356.

Bioconversion of Natural Gas to Liquid Fuel: Opportunities and Challenges. Fei, Q.; Guarnieri, M. T.; Tao, L.; Laurens, L. M. L.; Dowe, N.; Pienkos, P. T. Biotechnology Advances. Vol. 32(3), May-June 2014; pp. 596-614; NREL Report No. JA-5100-60897.

NREL 2012 Achievement of Ethanol Cost Targets: Biochemical Ethanol Fermentation via Dilute-Acid Pretreatment and Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Corn Stover. Tao, L.; Schell, D.; Davis, R.; Tan, E.; Elander, R.; Bratis, A. 43 pp. NREL Report No. TP-5100-61563 (April 2014).

A Comparison of Commercial Ethanol Production Systems From Brazilian Sugarcane and US Corn. Chum, H. L.; Warner, E.; Seabra, J. E. A.; Macedo, I. C. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. Vol. 8(2), March/April 2014; pp. 205-223; NREL Report No. JA-5100-56477.

Understanding the Evolution of Environmental and Energy Performance of the US Corn Ethanol Industry: Evaluation of Selected Metrics. Chum, H. L.; Zhang, Y.; Hill, J.; Tiffany, D. G.; Morey, R. V.; Eng, A. G.; Haq, Z. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. Vol. 8(2), March/April 2014; pp. 224-240; NREL Report No. JA-5100-54797.

Techno-Economic Analysis and Life-Cycle Assessment of Cellulosic Isobutanol and Comparison with Cellulosic Ethanol and n-Butanol. Tao, L.; Tan, E. C. D.; McCormick, R.; Zhang, M.; Aden, A.; He, X.; Zigler, B. T. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. Vol. 8(1), January/February 2014; pp. 30-48; NREL Report No. JA-5100-55962.

The Feasibility of Producing and Using Biomass-Based Diesel and Jet Fuel in the United States. Milbrandt, A.; Kinchin, C.; McCormick, R. 57 pp. NREL Report No. TP-6A20-58015 (December 2013).

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