Todd Vinzant

Todd Vinzant

Senior Scientist

Photo of Todd Vinzant
(303) 384-7760
At NREL Since: 

Todd Vinzant manages the Biomass Surface Characterization Laboratory. The focus of the facility is in the structural characterization of biomass as a function of chemical and enzymatic conversion, which includes the structural characterization of the microorganisms that generate the scarifying enzymes and those responsible for the fermentation of the free sugars. The facility is designed for a correlative approach to imaging to span the resolution from molecular interaction and observation to anatomical characterization.

He also leads a project to investigate lignin migration phenomena. This work addresses the structural changes in the lignin structure as a function of pretreatment temperature and chemistries. The team is developing a model to describe the sequence of structure changes within biomass that accounts for the movement of carbohydrates and lignin. The objective of this work is to determine the structural mechanism(s) of lignin's adverse role in biomass conversion.


  • 1990 M.S., Microbiology, University of Denver, Denver, CO

  • 1985 B.S., Biology, Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO

  • 1985 B.S., Chemistry, Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO

Selected Publications 

  1. Viamajala, S.; Selig, M.J.; Vinzant, T.B.; Tucker, M.P.; Himmel, M.E.; McMillan, J.D.; Decker, S.R. (2006). "Catalyst transport in corn stover internodes: Elucidating transport mechanisms using direct blue-I." Appl Biochem Biotechnol (130); pp. 509-527.
  2. Gidh, A.V.; Decker, S.R.; Vinzant, T.B.; Himmel, M.E.; Williford, C. (2006). "Determination of lignin by size exclusion chromatography using multi angle laser light scattering." J Chrom A (1114); pp. 102-110.
  3. Baker, J.O.; McCarley, J.R.; Lovettt, R.; Yu, C.H.; Adney, W.S.; Rignall, T.R.; Vinzant, T.B.; Decker, S.R.; ; Sakon, J.; Himmel, M.E. (2005). "Catalytically enhanced endocellulase Cel5A from Acidothermus cellulolyticus." Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (121); pp. 129-148.
  4. Decker, S.R.; Adney, W.S.; Jennings, E.; Vinzant, T.B.; Himmel, M.E. (2003). "Automated filter paper assay for determination of cellulase activity." Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (105); pp. 689-703.
  5. Vinzant, T.B.; Adney, W.S.; Decker, S.R.; Baker, J.O.; Kinter, M.T.; Sherman, N.E.; Fox, J.W.; Himmel, M.E. (2001). "Fingerprinting Trichoderma reesei hydrolases in a commercial cellulase preparation." Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (91-3); pp. 99-107.

NREL Publications 

View NREL Publications for this staff member.