Researchers reveal how molecular roadblocks slow the breakdown of cellulose for biofuels

Cellulose, which helps give plant cell walls their rigid structure, holds promise as a renewable raw material for biofuels—if researchers can accelerate the production process. Compared to the breakdown of other biofuel materials like corn, breaking down cellulose is slow and inefficient but could avoid concerns around using a food source while taking advantage of abundant plant materials that might otherwise go to waste. New research led by Penn State investigators has revealed how several molecular roadblocks slow this process.

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