Biomass Characterization

NREL provides high-quality analytical characterization of biomass feedstocks, intermediates, and products, a critical step in optimizing biomass conversion processes.

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Standard Biomass Laboratory Analytical Procedures

We maintain a library of analytical methods for biomass characterization available for downloading.

View the Biomass Compositional Analysis Lab Procedures

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High Throughput Characterization

Cell wall chemistry and sugar release can be predicted for 1000s of samples a week to indicate their recalcitrance and conversion performance.

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Biomass Compositional Analysis: NIR Rapid Methods

Molecular Beam Mass Spectrometry

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Biomass Surface Characterization Laboratory

The Biomass Surface Characterization Laboratory (BSCL) is an integrated microscopy and imaging spectroscopy facility dedicated to multi-scale structural characterization of biomass substrates.

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Biomass Surface Characterization Laboratory

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Comprehensive Characterization of Biomass

We develop new methods and tools to understand the chemical composition of raw biomass feedstocks, process intermediates, and products.

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Magnetic Resonance Facility

Wet Chemistry Capabilities

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Bio-Oil Analysis

We develop standard analytical methods for analysis of raw and upgraded bio-oils.

View the Bio-Oil Analysis Lab Procedures.

Featured Publications

Determination of Carbonyl Groups in Pyrolysis Bio-oils using Potentiometric Titration: Review and Comparison of Methods, Energy & Fuels (2016)

Downregulation of p-Coumaroyl Quinate/Shikimate 3-Hydroxylase (C3H) or Cinnamate-4-hydrolylase (C4H) in Eucalyptus urophyllaEucalyptus grandis Leads to Increased Extractability, Bioenergy Research (2016)

Compositional Analysis of Biomass Reference Materials: Results from an Interlaboratory Study, Bioenergy Research (2015)

View all NREL biomass characterization publications.

Research Team

Principal Investigators

Bryon Donohoe

Bryon Donohoe

Senior Scientist, Biosciences Center
Ed Wolfrum

Ed Wolfrum

Principal Researcher and Manager, Process and Analytical Engineering Group

Brenna Pleitner

Crissa Doeppke

Bill Michener

Ryan Ness

Michelle Nolker

Darren Peterson

Paul Plumb

Kailee Potter

Kelsey Ramirez

Jeffrey Wolfe

Related and Integrated Programs

Biochemical Process Development and Integration

Biological and Catalytic Conversion of Sugars and Lignin

Biomass Deconstruction and Pretreatment

Biomass Feedstocks

Heterogeneous Catalysis for Thermochemical Conversion

Thermochemical Process Integration, Scale-Up, and Piloting


BioEnergy Science Center

The Center for Bioenergy Innovation

The Center for Direct Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Biofuels

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Joint Bioenergy Institute

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