Oak Ridge National Laboratory
The BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) is a multi-institutional (18 partners), multidisciplinary research (biological, chemical, physical and computational sciences, mathematics and engineering) organization focused on the fundamental understanding and elimination of biomass recalcitrance. BESC is one of three Bioenergy Research Centers established by DOE's Office of Science in 2007 to accelerate research toward the development of cost-effective advanced biofuels.
BESC's approach to improve accessibility to the sugars within biomass involves 1) designing plant cell walls for rapid deconstruction and 2) developing multitalented microbes for converting plant biomass into biofuels in a single step (consolidated bioprocessing). Addressing the roadblock of biomass recalcitrance will require a multiscale understanding of plant cell walls from biosynthesis to deconstruction pathways. This integrated understanding would generate models, theories and finally processes that will be used to understand and overcome biomass recalcitrance.