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RENEWABLE ENERGY FROM FOREST RESOURCES:
An Investigation of the Complex Interrelated Issues Associated with Generating Automotive Fuels From Lignocellulosic Biomass

MUSES

Michigan
Technological
University
Sustainable Futures Institute
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, Michigan 49931

Phone: 906.487.3612
Fax: 906.487.2943
e-mail: sfi@mtu.edu


These images depict the enzymatic process used to breakdown the cellulose component of woody biomass.

Enzymatic Process
Faculty:
David Shonnard, PhD;
Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering
Director, Sustainable Futures Institute

 

There are three main components in lignocellulosic biomass: cellulose, which makes up the largest fraction (40-50%); hemicellulose (25-35%); and lignin, which accounts for about 15-20% of the biomass.

The cellulose is separated from the biomass through an enzymatic catalyst, yielding a sugar, which can be fermented into ethanol.

Researchers seek to reduce this reaction time, making the utilization of cellulosic ethanol more economically viable for the transportation industry.



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