BETO 2021 Peer Review - Inverse Bioproduct Design Through Machine Learning and Molecular Simulation

Nolan Wilson

Research output: NRELPresentation


This work aims to identify performance advantaged bioproducts (PABPs) through property prediction, which will guide experimental synthesis. The impact of this work will be faster market adoption of bioproducts with greater performance relative to incumbent products. We have identified >106 bioproduct candidates, but only some will have superior performance to create a market pull. High-throughput property prediction, enabled by machine learning, and elucidation of structure-function relationships, enabled by molecular simulation, provide a hypothesis driven approach for down selection of candidate biomolecules to pursue experimentally. To enable machine learning and molecular simulation for bioproduct discovery, automated structure generation and embedding must capture relevant features for prediction, databases must cover domains applicable to biobased products, and best practices for simulation of polymer systems must be developed. To address these challenges, we have established bioproduct relevant datasets, developed high-throughput polymer structure generation, and built end-to-end neural networks that have predicted 8 properties for >1.4 x 106 biopolymers. A molecular simulation pipeline for building, running, and analyzing polymers and polymer additives is being used to predict performance and develop design principles of biobased products. In collaboration with the PABP synthesis project, these computational tools are guiding synthesis and informing design of PABPs.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePresented at the U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) 2021 Project Peer Review, 8-12, 15-16, and 22-26 March 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-2800-79420


  • bioproducts
  • experimental synthesis
  • property prediction


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