Challenges for Assessing the Performance of Biomass Degrading Biocatalysts

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4 Scopus Citations


Common analytical challenges impact current work to estimate the cost of converting plant biomass to fermentable sugars. The most noteworthy are measuring cellulase and hemicellulase activities, cellulase and hemicellulase protein, biomass compositions (before and after pretreatment), and the products formed. The use of high-throughput (HTP) methods has shown considerable promise for improving both analytical precision and technician efficiency, but can also present pitfalls regarding experimental accuracy and relevance. Recent work demonstrates that HTP systems which include biomass composition analysis, thermal chemical pretreatment, and biomass saccharification can be realized.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationBiomass Conversion
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
EditorsMichael Himmel
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-2700-52867


  • Biomass
  • Cellulase activity
  • Cellulose crystallinity
  • High-throughput screening
  • Protein determination


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