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Synergy of Research

Research Thrusts C2B2´s partner institutions maintain sophisticated facilities and employ personnel who pursue innovation in the following six defined research thrust areas:

Feedstock Engineering, Plant Biotechnology & Crop Science This research thrust emphasizes the engineering and cultivation of plants with improved biorefining and biofuel characteristics. The Feedstock Engineering Thrust seeks to both develop a fundamental understanding of the genes and pathways relevant for enhanced biomass production; and furthermore apply this understanding to the growth of sustainable crops and cropping systems for biofuel production.

Biochemical Engineering The Biochemical Engineering Thrust develops new technologies for upstream bioprocess engineering, and efficient conversion of biomass into chemicals and fuels. Researchers in this thrust area aim to develop a fundamental understanding of enzymes and biocatalytic microorganisms relevant to the biorefining and biofuel industries. Translational science approaches are also utilized for innovative applied research in order to impact the conversion of new, cost effective technologies in the marketplace.

Thermochemical Engineering The Thermochemical Engineering Thrust develops and improves thermochemical technologies for the conversion of biomass into useful products for chemical and fuel applications. This research thrust develops a quantitative characterization of oxygenated model compounds selected to represent classes of compounds found in biomass. Researchers furthermore improve methods for thermochemical conversion.

Process Engineering The Process Engineering Thrust works towards the development of an improved understanding of overall process issues including: solids transport, separations and biofuels purification, as well as catalytic reforming. Moreover, this thrust seeks to develop the fundamental capability to rationally design important process steps in biorefining. Such fundamental understanding is utilized in order to: fabricate membranes optimized for particular separation; prepare novel catalysts for syngas reforming and functionalization of carbohydrates; and develop engineering models for solids transport.

Product Engineering This research thrust develops a fundamental understanding of structure-function relationships for emerging biofuels and bioplastics. The Product Engineering Thrust works to characterize the interactions between the structure of biofuels and their impact on engine performance, emissions and durability. Researchers synthesize and evaluate properties of bioplastics derived from renewable resources.

System Assessment and Analysis The Systems Engineering Thrust develops an improved understanding of overall systems issues including: life cycle issues, the evaluation of process design and efficiency, in addition to the evaluation of potential economic and societal impacts. This thrust means to develop an integrated, comprehensive and ongoing analysis of technologies under consideration for potential commercialization.

©2013 Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels.