Removing oxygen atoms is vital to turning biomass into biofuels. Scientists discovered how water interferes with two oxygen-removal paths by creating a highly stable intermediate that costs energy to move along the reaction path
Researchers developed an alternative fatty acid synthase (FAS) system in which enzymes from other organisms work with the native FAS in <i>E. coli</i> to improve the microbe's capacity for chemical production.
Plant cell walls resist deconstruction. Pretreatment can loosen the structural integrity of cell walls, reducing their recalcitrance. This study offers insights into how pretreatment induces such cell wall modifications in different types of biomass.
Ionic liquids (ILs) prepare plant matter to be broken into its component sugars, which can be used in creating biofuels. However, the availability and high cost of petroleum-derived ILs pose challenges. Synthesizing new ILs directly from biomass "wastes" could help.
Led by researchers from Wyoming, a team found that elevated carbon dioxide levels suppress the dominant plant species in a northern U.S. Great Plains mixed-grass prairie, creating a less diverse community.
The gene identified and characterized in this study will enhance the understanding of how woody perennial plants begin their growth cycle, enabling development of new approaches to population management.
Poplar trees and other woody plants are desirable starting points for producing transportation fuels. The challenge is that the wood-forming materials resist chemical breakdown. Scientists developed two new methods to understand the recalcitrance of woody material.
Isolating an <i>E. coli</i> mutant that tolerates a liquid salt used to break apart plant biomass into sugary polymers could streamline the biofuels production process.
Scientists discovered that removing the oxygen and water from biomass feedstock forms an impurity that decelerates and significantly disrupts the process.
Scientists at Miami University and DOE's Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory found that adding a specific nutrient stimulates the bacteria to transform nearby iron that, in turn, reduces the chromium to a much less mobile material.
The U.S. bioethanol industry depends largely on turning a certain sugar into the simple two-carbon alcohol, the biofuel ethanol. Researchers engineered a heat-loving microbe to produce not only ethanol, but also a range of other alcohols.
A major component of wood, grain, and forage, xylan provides a strong, flexible molecular scaffolding; however, if xylan synthesis is disrupted, plants do not grow normally. Researchers identified two enzymes that synthesize xylan.
A single microbe dominated thawed permafrost sites, with its relative abundance strongly correlating with the magnitude and specific type of methane produced at any given site.
Researchers found a remarkable parallel evolution between two microbial species. The results suggest a trade-off between working together to thrive and maintaining the flexibility to survive alone.
New evidence shows that higher levels of iron oxides in ocean and coastal sediments speed the conversion of the more potent greenhouse gas methane into carbon dioxide even in the absence of oxygen.
Scientists found that melt on the surface of glaciers in the McMurdo Dry Valley is rare, but internal melting is extensive.
C. thermocellum uses a previously unknown mechanism to degrade cellulose, in addition to other known degradation mechanisms.
For the first time, scientists saw how black phosphorus nanoribbons conduct heat two times more in the zigzag direction than in another direction. Layered, crystalline black phosphorus could lead to microchips that let heat flow away and keeps electrons moving.
Scientists achieved seamless heterojunctions of graphene-boron nitride nanotubes without using conventional semiconductors.
Scientists used high-speed photography and digital image analysis to observe both the events that cause cracks and the speed with which the cracks travel.
This is the first instance where synthesis of a crystalline framework in which proteins as well as metal ions and organic molecules are vital building components. This fabrication route has potential applications such as hydrogen fuel storage and carbon capture.
Scientists developed a new probe to measure dynamic behavior of materials on ultrafast timescales.
Flexible solar panels would benefit from stretchable, damage-resistant, transparent metal electrodes. Researchers found that topology and the adhesion between a metal nanomesh and the underlying substrate played key roles in creating such materials.
Scientists showed that adding lithium to aluminum nanoparticles results in orders-of-magnitude faster water-splitting reactions and higher hydrogen production rates compared to pure aluminum nanoparticles.
For the first time, accurate first-principles theoretical calculations of the energy lost to heat in silicon, the primary component of solar cells, have been performed.