Variation in cell wall composition and accessibility in relation to biofuel potential of short rotation coppice willows

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Ray, M. J., Brereton, N. J. B., Shield, I. F., Karp, A. and Murphy, R. J. 2012. Variation in cell wall composition and accessibility in relation to biofuel potential of short rotation coppice willows. BioEnergy Research. 5, pp. 685-698.

AuthorsRay, M. J., Brereton, N. J. B., Shield, I. F., Karp, A. and Murphy, R. J.
Abstract

Short rotation coppice (SRC) willow is currently emerging as an important dedicated lignocellulosic energy crop in the UK. However, investigation into the variation between species and genotypes in their suitability for liquid transport biofuel processing has been limited. To address this, four traits relevant to biofuel processing (composition, enzymatic saccharification, response to pretreatment and projected ethanol yields) were studied in 35 genotypes of willow including Europe’s leading SRC willow cultivars. Large, genotype-specific variation was observed for all four traits. Significant positive correlations were identified between the accessibility of glucan to enzymatic saccharification before and after pretreatment as well as glucose release and xylose release via acid hydrolysis during pretreatment. Of particular interest is that the lignin content of the biomass did not correlate with accessibility of glucan to enzymatic saccharification. The genotype-specific variations identified have implications for SRC willow breeding and for potential reductions in both the net energy expenditure and environmental impact of the lignocellulosic biofuel process chain. The large range of projected ethanol yields demonstrate the importance of feedstock selection based on an ideotype encompassing the performance of both field biomass growth and ease of conversion.

Year of Publication2012
JournalBioEnergy Research
Journal citation5, pp. 685-698
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1007/s12155-011-9177-8
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeCropping Carbon (CC) [ISPG]
The BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre (BSBEC): Perennial Bioenergy Crops Programme [2009-2014]
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online12 Jan 2012
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
ISSN1939-1234
PublisherSpringer

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