Surface and ultrastructural characterization of raw and pretreated switchgrass Academic Article uri icon


  • The US Department of Energy-funded Biomass Refining CAFI (Consortium for Applied Fundamentals and Innovation) project has developed leading pretreatment technologies for application to switchgrass and has evaluated their effectiveness in recovering sugars from the coupled operations of pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. Key chemical and physical characteristics have been determined for pretreated switchgrass samples. Several analytical microscopy approaches utilizing instruments in the Biomass Surface Characterization Laboratory (BSCL) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have been applied to untreated and CAFI-pretreated switchgrass samples. The results of this work have shown that each of the CAFI pretreatment approaches on switchgrass result in different structural impacts at the plant tissue, cellular, and cell wall levels. Some of these structural changes can be related to changes in chemical composition upon pretreatment. There are also apparently different structural mechanisms that are responsible for achieving the highest enzymatic hydrolysis sugar yields.

author list (cited authors)

  • Donohoe, B. S., Vinzant, T. B., Elander, R. T., Pallapolu, V. R., Lee, Y. Y., Garlock, R. J., ... Warner, R. E.

citation count

  • 45

publication date

  • December 2011