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Poster Abstracts

Poster Title: Center for LignoCellulose Structure and Formation (DOE EFRC)

Authors: Daniel Cosgrove (Director), Jeffrey Catchmark (Associate Director)

Poster Abstract: Lignocellulose is the major structural material of plant bodies and constitutes the enormously important biorenewable resource used to make building materials, paper, textiles and many polymer derivatives. It is also largest available source of renewable biomass on Earth, with the potential for large-scale conversion to transportation fuels to replace petroleum. Despite its economic significance, many basic questions about its structure and formation are unanswered. CLSF is a new $21M EFRC Center funded by DOE to develop a detailed understanding of the nano-scale structure of lignocellulose and the physiochemical principles of its formation. Our center has 18 principle investigators at Penn State, North Carolina State University, and Virginia Tech,  grouped into teams to address three questions:

  1. How does the cellulose synthase complex produce the cellulose microfibril?
  2. What are the physicochemical interactions among cell wall components that lead to a strong network and what are the steps in their assembly?
  3. How do macro-scale properties of cell walls (mechanics, porosity, thermal properties, etc.) emerge from nano-scale properties of cell wall components?

Better understand of lignocellulose structure and formation is a key step towards unlocking this energy-rich biomaterial for the next generation of sustainable biofuels and for  creating new cellulosic biomaterials with diverse economic applications.