Advances in Multiscale Modeling of Lignocellulosic Biomass

Peter Ciesielski, Michael Pecha, Michael Crowley, Vivek Bharadwaj, Meagan Crowley, Lintao Bu, K. Steirer, Aaron Lattanzi, Joshua Vermaas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus Citations


Applications and associated processing technologies of lignocellulosic biomass are becoming increasingly important as we endeavor to meet societal demand for fuels, chemicals, and materials from renewable resources. Meanwhile, the rapidly expanding availability and capabilities of high-performance computing present an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate development of technologies surrounding lignocellulose utilization. In order to realize this potential, suitable modeling frameworks must be constructed that effectively capture the multiscale complexity and tremendous variety exhibited by lignocellulosic materials. In our assessment of previous endeavors toward this goal, several important shortcomings have been identified: (1) the lack of multiscale integration strategies that capture emergent properties and behaviors spanning different length scales and (2) the inability of many modeling approaches to effectively capture the variability and diversity of lignocellulose that arise from both natural and process-induced sources. In this Perspective, we survey previous modeling approaches for lignocellulose and simulation processes involving its chemical and mechanical transformation and suggest opportunities for future development to enhance the utility of computational tools to address barriers to widespread adoption of a renewable bioeconomy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3512-3531
Number of pages20
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2700-75749


  • Biobased materials
  • Bioenergy
  • High-performance computing
  • Lignocellulose
  • Multiscale modeling


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