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Advancements in Biomass Recalcitrance: The Use of Lignin for the Production of Fuels and Chemicals

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889457069 Year: Pages: 103 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-706-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: General and Civil Engineering --- Biotechnology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:43
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Lignocellulosic biomass has great potentials as an alternative feedstock for fuels and chemicals. For effective utilization of biomass, biomass recalcitrance, which is inherent resistance of plant cell walls to biological deconstruction, needs to be reduced. Among many factors in biomass, lignin is significantly related to biomass recalcitrance. Lignin, a complex aromatic polymer, is the largest non-carbohydrate component (15-40% dry weight) in most terrestrial plants. In nature, it provides a structural integrity, facilitates water and nutrient transport, and protects plants from microbial attack. From a different angle, lignin significantly contributes to biomass recalcitrance, so it is necessary to reduce and/or modify the lignin for effective conversion of biomass. Genetic modifications of the lignin biosynthetic pathway and lignin-targeting pretreatments have been developed to minimize the lignin-induced biomass recalcitrance. High carbon content of lignin also renders it an attractive feedstock for many applications. About 100,000 to 200,000 tons of lignin can be generated per year as a byproduct from cellulosic ethanol production, so valorization of these lignins could be one of keys for achieving economic biorefinery. However, investigations of lignin conversion have not been accomplished as the utilization of carbohydrates in biomass. Depolymerization of lignin is still challenging because of its broad distribution of bond strengths, recondensation of low-molecular species, and poor product selectivity. Diverse biological and thermochemical depolymerization methods have been investigated to overcome these barriers. In this Research Topic, recent advancements in biomass recalcitrance by effective utilization of lignin are introduced.

New Frontiers in Multiscale Modelling of Advanced Materials

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197552 Year: Pages: 91 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-755-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: General and Civil Engineering --- Materials
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Atomistic simulations, based on ab-initio and semi-empirical approaches, are nowadays widespread in many areas of physics, chemistry and, more recently, biology. Improved algorithms and increased computational power widened the areas of application of these computational methods to extended materials of technological interest, in particular allowing unprecedented access to the first-principles investigation of their electronic, optical, thermodynamical and mechanical properties, even where experiments are not available. However, for a big impact on the society, this rapidly growing field of computational approaches to materials science has to face the unfavourable scaling with the system size, and to beat the time-scale bottleneck. Indeed, many phenomena, such as crystal growth or protein folding for example, occur in a space/time scale which is normally out of reach of present simulations. Multi-scale approaches try to combine different scale algorithms along with matching procedures in order to bridge the gap between first-principles and continuum-level simulations. This Research Topic aims at the description of recent advances and applications in these two emerging fields of ab-inito and multi-scale materials modelling for both ground and excited states. A variety of theoretical and computational techniques are included along with the application of these methods to systems at increasing level of complexity, from nano to micro. Crossing the borders between several computational, theoretical and experimental techniques, this Research Topic aims to be of interest to a broad community, including experimental and theoretical physicists, chemists and engineers interested in materials research in a broad sense.

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