Research

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#[[Doing Research]]
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<font face="trebuchet ms" size=3 style="color:#000">'''Research Overview: </font> <br> </div>
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My research focuses on investigating physiochemical characteristics of biomass that affect their chemical and biological functions. In particular, I am exploring separation of biomass components (i.e., cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin). My diverse background in biology, chemistry, engineering, and economics allows me to formulate green yet efficient and economical processes using a hybrid system of enzymes and heterogeneous catalysts to achieve three goals: (1) energy goal, to produce low value, high volume fuels from renewables, (2) economic goal, to generate additional revenues from high value, low volume building blocks for specialty chemicals, and (3) environmental goal, to foster green yet efficient processes. Here is a bit of my current research in a nutshell.
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<font face="trebuchet ms" size=3 style="color:#000">'''Technological:</font>  <font face="trebuchet ms" size=3 style="color:#00688B">Development of an efficient biomass saccharification process </font> <br> </div>
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Overcoming lignocellulosic biomass recalcitrance followed by enzymatic hydrolysis of reactive polymeric carbohydrates (i.e., cost-efficient liberation of fermentable sugars from biomass) is perhaps the most challenging technical and economic barrier to biorefinery success.  Pretreatment is among the most costly steps in biochemical conversion of biomass, accounting for up to 40% of the total processing cost.  Also, it affects the costs of other operations including size reduction prior to pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation after pretreatment.  Pretreatment can also strongly influence downstream costs involving detoxification if inhibitors are generated, enzymatic hydrolysis rate and enzyme loading, mixing power, product concentration, product purification, power generation, waste treatment demands, and other process variables. 
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Biomass sacchrification strategies (unpublished)]]
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[[Image:NMR.jpg|thumb|250x250px|13C NMR spectra of switchgrass and Avicel pre-/post-pretreatment (''Biotechnol Bioeng'' '''108''', 521-529 [2011])]]
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<font face="trebuchet ms" size=3 style="color:#000">'''Fundamental:</font>  <font face="trebuchet ms" size=3 style="color:#00688B">Physiochemical properties of biomass pre-/post-pretreatment that lend them susceptibility to enzymatic hydrolysis </font> <br> </div>
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Biomass are characterized pre-/post-pretreatment by enzymatic hydrolysis,substrate accessibility assay, scanning electron microscopy,X-ray diffraction (XRD), cross polarization/magic angle spinning (CP/MAS) 13C nuclear magnetic resonance(NMR), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).
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<font face="trebuchet ms" size=3 style="color:#000">'''Translational:</font>  <font face="trebuchet ms" size=3 style="color:#00688B">Aplying fundamental concepts and lab-scale process to a more pragmatic example</font> <br> </div>
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djskajlskdjalskdaldjaksljdkldaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
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[[Image:Translational.tif|thumb|180x180px|Nanoscale cues regulate the structure and function of macroscopic cardiac tissue constructs (''PNAS'' '''107''', 565-570 [2010])]]
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Current revision

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Research Overview:

My research focuses on investigating physiochemical characteristics of biomass that affect their chemical and biological functions. In particular, I am exploring separation of biomass components (i.e., cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin). My diverse background in biology, chemistry, engineering, and economics allows me to formulate green yet efficient and economical processes using a hybrid system of enzymes and heterogeneous catalysts to achieve three goals: (1) energy goal, to produce low value, high volume fuels from renewables, (2) economic goal, to generate additional revenues from high value, low volume building blocks for specialty chemicals, and (3) environmental goal, to foster green yet efficient processes. Here is a bit of my current research in a nutshell.


Technological: Development of an efficient biomass saccharification process

Overcoming lignocellulosic biomass recalcitrance followed by enzymatic hydrolysis of reactive polymeric carbohydrates (i.e., cost-efficient liberation of fermentable sugars from biomass) is perhaps the most challenging technical and economic barrier to biorefinery success. Pretreatment is among the most costly steps in biochemical conversion of biomass, accounting for up to 40% of the total processing cost. Also, it affects the costs of other operations including size reduction prior to pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation after pretreatment. Pretreatment can also strongly influence downstream costs involving detoxification if inhibitors are generated, enzymatic hydrolysis rate and enzyme loading, mixing power, product concentration, product purification, power generation, waste treatment demands, and other process variables.

Biomass sacchrification strategies (unpublished)
Biomass sacchrification strategies (unpublished)
13C NMR spectra of switchgrass and Avicel pre-/post-pretreatment (Biotechnol Bioeng 108, 521-529 [2011])
13C NMR spectra of switchgrass and Avicel pre-/post-pretreatment (Biotechnol Bioeng 108, 521-529 [2011])
Fundamental: Physiochemical properties of biomass pre-/post-pretreatment that lend them susceptibility to enzymatic hydrolysis

Biomass are characterized pre-/post-pretreatment by enzymatic hydrolysis,substrate accessibility assay, scanning electron microscopy,X-ray diffraction (XRD), cross polarization/magic angle spinning (CP/MAS) 13C nuclear magnetic resonance(NMR), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).

Translational: Aplying fundamental concepts and lab-scale process to a more pragmatic example

djskajlskdjalskdaldjaksljdkldaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Nanoscale cues regulate the structure and function of macroscopic cardiac tissue constructs (PNAS 107, 565-570 [2010])
Nanoscale cues regulate the structure and function of macroscopic cardiac tissue constructs (PNAS 107, 565-570 [2010])
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