Title

Chemical conversion of cellulose biomass to biofuels

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version

12-1-2009

Abstract

Cellulose, a polysaccharide found in plant cell walls, is the most abundant organic compound on earth. Our research group has strived to hydrolyze the polysaccharide's β(1→4) linkages, so that glucose could be isolated for subsequent conversion to biofuels to replace the world's dwindling petroleum supply. This would create a renewable fuel source (ethanol), without compromising the food industry by depleting sugar cane and corn. We have discovered conditions that readily hydrolyze the β-linkage of cellobiose to quantitatively produce glucose. Current efforts are directed towards the hydrolysis of the β(1→4) linkages in cellulose, a considerably more difficult target because of limited solubility and robust secondary structure, resulting from its intricate lattice of hydrogen bonds.

Publication Title

ACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts

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