Cellulosic Biomass: Sum-Frequency-Generation Vibrational Spectroscopy of Cellulosic Biomass
Conversion of biomass such as cellulose to useful chemicals and fuels requires breaking down the structure of biomass which increases its susceptibility to subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis by cellulase enzymes. The critical physical and chemical properties that determine the susceptibility of cellulosic substrates to hydrolysis are not well understood.
We are addressing this challenge by using a state-of-the-art nonlinear laser spectroscopy that can determine the structure of celluloses present in various biomass materials. Students working in this project will have unique opportunities to learn vibrational spectroscopy and enzymatic hydrolysis of biomass.