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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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Capabilities

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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


Photo of a man in front of multiple computer screens  that present different views of ultra structures of pretreated biomass materials in NRELs Cellular

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


Photo of a womans gloved fingers holding a test tube of pyrolysis oil samples.

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

Mark Davis

Director, Biosciences Center

Mark.Davis@nrel.gov | 303-384-6140

Bryon Donohoe

Senior Scientist, Biosciences Center

Bryon.Donohoe@nrel.gov | 303-384-7773

Erica Gjersing

Supervisor, Process Analytical Section

Erica.Gjersing@nrel.gov | 303-384-7984

Ed Wolfrum

Principal Researcher and Manager, Process and Analytical Engineering Group

Ed.Wolfrum@nrel.gov | 303-384-7705

Brenna Pleitner

Crissa Doeppke

Deb Hyman

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

Collaborators

BESC

C3Bio

Colorado School of Mines

Cornell University

Idaho National Laboratory

Joint Bioenergy Institute

Oak Ridge National laboratory

Pacific Northwest National laboratory

University of Illinois

University of Texas, Austin

Washington State University