Biomass Deconstruction and Pretreatment
Our mission is to transform lignocellulose into intermediate streams with low toxicity, high sugar concentrations, and utilizable lignin for biological and thermochemical upgrading to fuels and products with minimal waste generation and material and energy use.
We develop alkali, acid, and oxidative-based chemical deconstruction processes that result in intermediate streams tailored to specific biochemical and catalytic upgrading strategies.
Integrated chemical and mechanical deconstruction strategies, such as the NREL deacetylation and mechanical refining (DMR) process, result in low-toxicity, high-concentration sugar streams and native-like lignin following enzymatic hydrolysis.
After chemical and/or mechanical deconstruction, an enzymatic hydrolysis is performed to convert biomass polysaccharides into their monomeric sub-units for biological fermentation and/or catalytic upgrading.
Equipment and Capabilities
The majority of the pretreatment and biomass deconstruction equipment is located in the NREL Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility (IBRF).
Related and Integrated Programs
Green Earth Institute
Idaho National Laboratory
North Carolina State University
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
University of North Dakota
Washington State University