The use of fossil fuels is now widely accepted as unsustainable due to depleting resources and the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the environment that have already exceeded the “dangerously high” threshold of 450 ppm CO2-e. To achieve environmental and economic sustainability, fuel production processes are required that are not only renewable, but also capable of sequestering atmospheric CO2. Currently, nearly all renewable energy sources (e.g. hydroelectric, solar, wind, tidal, geothermal) target the electricity market, while fuels make up a much larger share of the global energy demand (∼66%). Biofuels are therefore rapidly being developed. Second generation microalgal systems have the advantage that they can produce a wide range of feedstocks for the production of biodiesel, bioethanol, biomethane and biohydrogen. Biodiesel is currently produced from oil synthesized by conventional fuel crops that harvest the sun’s energy and store it as chemical energy. This presents a route for renewable and carbon-neutral fuel production. However, current supplies from oil crops and animal fats account for only approximately 0.3% of the current demand for transport fuels. Increasing biofuel production on arable land could have severe consequences for global food supply. In contrast, producing biodiesel from algae is widely regarded as one of the most efficient ways of generating biofuels and also appears to represent the only current renewable source of oil that could meet the global demand for transport fuels. The main advantages of second generation microalgal systems are that they: (1) Have a higher photon conversion efficiency (as evidenced by increased biomass yields per hectare): (2) Can be harvested batch-wise nearly all-year-round, providing a reliable and continuous supply of oil: (3) Can utilize salt and waste water streams, thereby greatly reducing freshwater use: (4) Can couple CO2-neutral fuel production with CO2 sequestration: (5) Produce non-toxic and highly biodegradable biofuels. Current limitations exist mainly in the harvesting process and in the supply of CO2 for high efficiency production. This review provides a brief overview of second generation biodiesel production systems using microalgae.
Lignocellulosic materials such as wood, grass, and agricultural and forest residues are promising alternative energy resources that can be utilized to produce ethanol. The yield of ethanol production from native lignocellulosic material is relatively low due to its native recalcitrance, which is attributed to, in part, lignin content/structure, hemicelluloses, cellulose crystallinity, and other factors. Pretreatment of lignocellulosic materials is required to overcome this recalcitrance. The goal of pretreatment is to alter the physical features and chemical composition/structure of lignocellulosic materials, thus making cellulose more accessible to enzymatic hydrolysis for sugar conversion. Various pretreatment technologies to reduce recalcitrance and to increase sugar yield have been developed during the past two decades. This review examines the changes in lignocellulosic structure primarily in cellulose and hemicellulose during the most commonly applied pretreatment technologies including dilute acid pretreatment, hydrothermal pretreatment, and alkaline pretreatment.
Enzymatic saccharification of cellulose is a key step in conversion of plant biomass to advanced biofuel and chemicals. Many substrate-related factors affect saccharification. Rather than examining the role of each individual factor on overall saccharification efficiency, this study examined how each factor affects the three basic processes of a heterogeneous biochemistry reaction: (1) substrate accessibility to cellulose—the roles of component removal and size reduction by pretreatments, (2) substrate and cellulase reactivity limited by component inhibition, and (3) reaction conditions—substrate-specific optimization. Our in-depth analysis of published literature work, especially those published in the last 5 years, explained and reconciled some of the conflicting results in literature, especially the relative importance of hemicellulose vs. lignin removal and substrate size reduction on enzymatic saccharification of lignocelluloses. We concluded that hemicellulose removal is more important than lignin removal for creating cellulase accessible pores. Lignin removal is important when alkaline-based pretreatment is used with limited hemicellulose removal. Partial delignification is needed to achieve satisfactory saccharification of lignocelluloses with high lignin content, such as softwood species. Rather than using passive approaches, such as washing and additives, controlling pretreatment or hydrolysis conditions, such as pH, to modify lignin surface properties can be more efficient for reducing or eliminating lignin inhibition to cellulase, leading to improved lignocellulose saccharification.
The viability of algae-based biodiesel industry depends on the selection of adequate strains in regard to profitable yields and oil quality. This work aimed to bioprospecting and screening 12 microalgae strains by applying, as selective criteria, the volumetric lipid productivity and the fatty acid profiles, used for estimating the biodiesel fuel properties. Volumetric lipid productivity varied among strains from 22.61 to 204.91 mg l−1 day−1. The highest lipid yields were observed for Chlorella (204.91 mg l−1 day1) and Botryococcus strains (112.43 and 98.00 mg l−1 day−1 for Botryococcus braunii and Botryococcus terribilis, respectively). Cluster and principal components analysis analysis applied to fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) profiles discriminated three different microalgae groups according to their potential for biodiesel production. Kirchneriella lunaris, Ankistrodesmus fusiformis, Chlamydocapsa bacillus, and Ankistrodesmus falcatus showed the highest levels of polyunsaturated FAME, which incurs in the production of biodiesels with the lowest (42.47–50.52) cetane number (CN), the highest (101.33–136.97) iodine values (IV), and the lowest oxidation stability. The higher levels of saturated FAME in the oils of Chlamydomonas sp. and Scenedesmus obliquus indicated them as source of biodiesel with higher oxidation stability, higher CN (63.63–64.94), and lower IV (27.34–35.28). The third group, except for the Trebouxyophyceae strains that appeared in isolation, are composed by microalgae that generate biodiesel of intermediate values for CN, IV, and oxidation stability, related to their levels of saturated and monosaturated lipids. Thus, in this research, FAME profiling suggested that the best approach for generating a microalgae-biodiesel of top quality is by mixing the oils of distinct cell cultures.
Biomass pyrolysis oil has been reported as a potential renewable biofuel precursor. Although several review articles focusing on lignocellulose pyrolysis can be found, the one that particularly focus on lignin pyrolysis is still not available in literature. Lignin is the second most abundant biomass component and the primary renewable aromatic resource in nature. The pyrolysis chemistry and mechanism of lignin are significantly different from pyrolysis of cellulose or entire biomass. Therefore, different from other review articles in the field, this review particularly focuses on the recent developments in lignin pyrolysis chemistry, mechanism, catalysts, and the upgrading of the bio-oil from lignin pyrolysis. Although bio-oil production from pyrolysis of biomass has been proven on commercial scale and is a very promising option for production of renewable chemicals and fuels, there are still several drawbacks that have not been solved. The components of biomass pyrolysis oils are very complicated and related to the properties of bio-oil. In this review article, the details about pyrolysis oil components particularly those from lignin pyrolysis processes will be discussed first. Due to the poor physical and chemical property, the lignin pyrolysis oil has to be upgraded before usage. The most common method of upgrading bio-oil is hydrotreating. Catalysts have been widely used in petroleum industry for pyrolysis bio-oil upgrading. In this review paper, the mechanism of the hydrodeoxygenation reaction between the model compounds and catalysts will be discussed and the effects of the reaction condition will be summarized.
Interest in algae as a feedstock for biofuel production has risen in recent years, due to projections that algae can produce lipids (oil) at a rate significantly higher than agriculture-based feedstocks. Current research and development of enclosed photobioreactors for commercial-scale algal oil production is directed towards pushing the upper limit of productivity beyond that of open ponds. So far, most of this development is in a prototype stage, so working production metrics for a commercial-scale algal biofuel system are still unknown, and projections are largely based on small-scale experimental data. Given this research climate, a methodical analysis of a maximum algal oil production rate from a theoretical perspective will be useful to the emerging industry for understanding the upper limits that will bound the production capabilities of new designs. This paper presents a theoretical approach to calculating an absolute upper limit to algal production based on physical laws and assumptions of perfect efficiencies. In addition, it presents a best case approach that represents an optimistic target for production based on realistic efficiencies and is calculated for six global sites. The theoretical maximum was found to be 354,000 L·ha−1·year−1 (38,000 gal·ac−1·year−1) of unrefined oil, while the best cases examined in this report range from 40,700–53,200 L·ha−1·year−1 (4,350–5,700 gal·ac−1·year−1) of unrefined oil.
This study revealed that cellulose enzymatic saccharification response curves of lignocellulosic substrates were very different from those of pure cellulosic substrates in terms of optimal pH and pH operating window. The maximal enzymatic cellulose saccharification of lignocellulosic substrates occurs at substrate suspension pH 5.2–6.2, not between pH 4.8 and 5.0 as exclusively used in literature using T. reesi cellulase. Two commercial cellulase enzyme cocktails, Celluclast 1.5L and CTec2 both from Novozymes, were evaluated over a wide range of pH. The optimal ranges of measured suspension pH of 5.2–5.7 for Celluclast 1.5L and 5.5–6.2 for CTec2 were obtained using six lignocellulosic substrates produced by dilute acid, alkaline, and two sulfite pretreatments to overcome recalcitrance of lignocelluloses (SPORL) pretreatments using both a softwood and a hardwood. Furthermore, cellulose saccharification efficiency of a SPORL-pretreated lodgepole pine substrate showed a very steep increase between pH 4.7 and 5.2. Saccharification efficiency can be increased by 80 % at cellulase loading of 11.3 FPU/g glucan, i.e., from approximately 43 to 78 % simply by increasing the substrate suspension pH from 4.7 to 5.2 (buffer solution pH from 4.8 to 5.5) using Celluclast 1.5L, or by 70 % from approximately 51 to 87 % when substrate suspension pH is increased from 4.9 to 6.2 (buffer solution pH from 5.0 to 6.5) using CTec2. The enzymatic cellulose saccharification response to pH is correlated to the degree of substrate lignin sulfonation. The difference in pH-induced lignin surface charge, and therefore surface hydrophilicity and lignin–cellulase electrostatic interactions, among different substrates with different lignin content and structure is responsible for the reported different enhancements in lignocellulose saccharification at elevated pH.
The use of lignocellulosic biomass as a renewable energy source is becoming progressively essential. Much attention is focused on identifying suitable biomass species that can provide high energy outputs to replace conventional fossil fuels. The current study emphasizes on some commonly available biomasses in North America such as pinewood, timothy grass, and wheat straw for their usage towards next generation biofuels. Fast pyrolysis of the feedstocks was performed at 450 °C to generate biochars that were further characterized to advocate their energy and agronomic relevance. The biomasses were examined physiochemically to understand their compositional and structural characteristics through analytical approaches such as CHNS (carbon–hydrogen–nitrogen–sulfur), ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry), particle size, FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) and Raman spectroscopy, thermogravimetric and differential thermogravimetric, XRD (X-ray diffraction), and high-pressure liquid chromatography. The chemical composition of feedstocks significantly differed from that of biochars and the variations among feedstock composition were also found to be greater than for biochars. The presence of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin along with other organic components were identified in the spectroscopic and chromatographic analysis. The FTIR spectra of biochars showed removal of oxygen- and hydrogen-containing functionalities from feedstocks due to pyrolysis at higher temperature, although retaining certain significant cellulose-derived functionalities. A number of crystallographic phases in the XRD of biomass, ash, and biochars were due to minerals commonly Na, Mg, Al, Ca, Fe, and Mn. ICP-MS of biochars demonstrated substantial amount of alkali elements indicating their compatibility towards soil amendment for restoring degraded soils.
The structure and fine structure of leaf and culm cell walls of sugarcane plants were analyzed using a combination of microscopic, chemical, biochemical, and immunological approaches. Fluorescence microscopy revealed that leaves and culm display autofluorescence and lignin distributed differently through different cell types, the former resulting from phenylpropanoids associated with vascular bundles and the latter distributed throughout all cell walls in the tissue sections. Polysaccharides in leaf and culm walls are quite similar, but differ in the proportions of xyloglucan and arabinoxylan in some fractions. In both cases, xyloglucan (XG) and arabinoxylan (AX) are closely associated with cellulose, whereas pectins, mixed-linkage-β-glucan (BG), and less branched xylans are strongly bound to cellulose. Accessibility to hydrolases of cell wall fraction increased after fractionation, suggesting that acetyl and phenolic linkages, as well as polysaccharide–polysaccharide interactions, prevented enzyme action when cell walls are assembled in its native architecture. Differently from other hemicelluloses, BG was shown to be readily accessible to lichenase when in intact walls. These results indicate that wall architecture has important implications for the development of more efficient industrial processes for second-generation bioethanol production. Considering that pretreatments such as steam explosion and alkali may lead to loss of more soluble fractions of the cell walls (BG and pectins), second-generation bioethanol, as currently proposed for sugarcane feedstock, might lead to loss of a substantial proportion of the cell wall polysaccharides, therefore decreasing the potential of sugarcane for bioethanol production in the future.
Chemical hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass (LB) produces a number of inhibitors in addition to sugars. These inhibitors include lignin-derived phenolics, carbohydrate-derived furans, and weak acids that have shown a marked effect on the productivities of various metabolites and the growth of biocatalysts in the fermentative reaction. In the past, a number of physicochemical and biological approaches have been proposed to overcome these fermentation inhibitors, including modified fermentative strategies. Additionally, the timely intervention of genetic engineering has provided an impetus to develop suitable technologies for the detoxification of lignocellulosics in biorefineries. However, the improvements in detoxification strategies for lignocellulose hydrolysates have resulted in significant loss of sugars after detoxification. Hydrolysis of myco-LB (LB after fungal pretreatment) has been recognized as a promising approach to avoid fermentation inhibitors and improve total sugar recovery. Biotechnological inventions have also made it possible to widen the range of suitable biocatalysts for biorefineries by microbial-routed induction of enzymatic expression for the elimination of inhibitors, eventually improving ethanol production from acid hydrolysates. This article aims to highlight the strategies that have been adopted to detoxify lignocellulosic hydrolysates and their effects on the chemical composition of the hydrolysates to improve the fermentability of lignocellulosics. In addition, genetic manipulation could widen the availability and variety of substrates and modify the metabolic routes to produce bioethanol or other value-added compounds in an efficient manner.
One factor limiting the understanding and evaluation of biochar for soil amendment and carbon sequestration applications is the scarcity of long-term, large-scale field studies. Limited land, time, and material resources require that biochars for field trials be carefully selected. In this study, 17 biochars from the fast pyrolysis, slow pyrolysis, and gasification of corn stover, switchgrass, and wood were thoroughly characterized and subjected to an 8-week soil incubation as a way to select the most promising biochars for a field trial. The methods used to characterize the biochars included proximate analysis, CHNS elemental analysis, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller surface (BET) area, photo-acoustic Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and quantitative 13 C solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The soil incubation study was used to relate biochar properties to three soil responses: pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC), and water leachate electrical conductivity (EC). Characterization results suggest that biochars made in a kiln process where some oxygen was present in the reaction atmosphere have properties intermediate between slow pyrolysis and gasification and therefore, should be grouped separately. A close correlation was observed between aromaticity determined by NMR and fixed carbon fraction determined by proximate analysis, suggesting that the simpler, less expensive proximate analysis method can be used to gain aromaticity information. Of the 17 biochars originally assessed, four biochars were ultimately selected for their potential to improve soil properties and to provide soil data to refine the selection scheme: corn stover low-temperature fast pyrolysis (highest amended soil CEC, information on high volatile matter/O–C ratio biochar), switchgrass O2/steam gasification (relatively high BET surface area, and amended soil pH, EC, and CEC), switchgrass slow pyrolysis (higher-amended soil pH and EC), and hardwood kiln carbonization (information on slow pyrolysis, gasification and kiln-produced differences).
Net benefits of bioenergy crops, including maize and perennial grasses such as switchgrass, are a function of several factors including the soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestered by these crops. Life cycle assessments (LCA) for bioenergy crops have been conducted using models in which SOC information is usually from the top 30 to 40 cm. Information on the effects of crop management practices on SOC has been limited so LCA models have largely not included any management practice effects. In the first 9 years of a long-term C sequestration study in eastern Nebraska, USA, switchgrass and maize with best management practices had average annual increases in SOC per hectare that exceed 2 Mg C year−1 (7.3 Mg CO2 year−1) for the 0 to 150 soil depth. For both switchgrass and maize, over 50 % of the increase in SOC was below the 30 cm depth. SOC sequestration by switchgrass was twofold to fourfold greater than that used in models to date which also assumed no SOC sequestration by maize. The results indicate that N fertilizer rates and harvest management regimes can affect the magnitude of SOC sequestration. The use of uniform soil C effects for bioenergy crops from sampling depths of 30 to 40 cm across agro-ecoregions for large scale LCA is questionable.
Perennial grasses may provide a renewable source of biomass for energy production. Biomass yield, nutrient concentrations, and nutrient removal rates of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), giant miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), giant reed (Arundo donax L.), weeping lovegrass [Eragrostis curvula (Shrad.) Nees], kleingrass (Panicum coloratum L.), and Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.) were evaluated at four N fertilizer rates (0, 56, 112, or 168 kg N ha−1) on a Minco fine sandy loam soil in southern Oklahoma. Species were established in 2008 and harvested for biomass in winter of 2009 and 2010. Biomass yield (dry matter basis) did not show a strong relationship with N fertilizer rate (p = 0.08), but was affected by year and species interactions (p < 0.01). Weeping lovegrass and kleingrass produced 29.0 and 16.0 Mg ha−1 in 2009, but only 13.0 Mg ha−1 and 9.8 Mg ha−1 in 2010, respectively. Biomass yields of giant reed, switchgrass, and Johnsongrass averaged 23.3, 17.8, and 6.0 Mg ha−1, respectively. Giant miscanthus established poorly, producing only 4.7 Mg ha−1. Across years, giant reed had the highest biomass yield, 33.2 Mg ha−1 at 168 kg N ha−1, and the highest nutrient concentrations and removal rates (162 to 228 kg N ha−1, 23 to 25 kg P ha−1, and 121 to 149 kg K ha−1) among the grasses. Although giant reed demonstrated tremendous biomass production, its higher nutrient removal rates indicate a potential for increased fertilization requirements over time. Switchgrass had consistently high biomass yields and relatively low nutrient removal rates (40 to 75 kg N ha−1, 5 to 12 kg P ha−1, and 44 to 110 kg K ha−1) across years, demonstrating its merits as a low-input bioenergy crop.
Of the various biomass crops, one of the most promising for bioenergy or biochemical production is giant reed (Arundo donax L.): It is tolerant to a wide range of environmental stresses and can therefore be cultivated on marginal lands which cannot be used for traditional food crops. An open field experiment was carried out in a soil subjected to accelerated erosion so as to evaluate the agronomic and environmental impact of giant reed during the first 9 years of cultivation. In a low-input cropping system, the crop gave an interesting biomass yield and gross income when grown on marginal hilly lands in southern Italy affected by climatic constraints and accelerated erosion. Its cultivation had favourable effects on environmental quality, thanks to the improvement in soil fertility (soil organic matter and N increase), mitigation of climate change (C storage in the soil) and reduction in soil loss by erosion (reducing soil erodibility and increasing vegetation cover). Winter harvest was found to be more advisable because it reduced biomass moisture and N content, thus improving biomass quality (fewer problems in storage and industrial use) and cropping system sustainability (higher N return to the soil and hence less need for N fertilization).
Soil organic carbon (SOC) changes associated with land conversion to energy crops are central to the debate on bioenergy and their potential carbon neutrality. Here, the experimental evidence on SOC under perennial energy crops (PECs) is synthesised to parameterise a whole systems model and to identify uncertainties and knowledge gaps determining PECs being a sink or source of greenhouse gas (GHG). For Miscanthus and willow (Salix spp.) and their analogues (switchgrass, poplar), we examine carbon (C) allocation to above- and belowground residue inputs, turnover rates and retention in the soil. A meta-analysis showed that studies on dry matter partitioning and C inputs to soils are plentiful, whilst data on turnover are rare and rely on few isotopic C tracer studies. Comprehensive studies on SOC dynamics and GHG emissions under PECs are limited and subsoil processes and C losses through leaching remain unknown. Data showed dynamic changes of gross C inputs and SOC stocks depending on stand age. C inputs and turnover can now be specifically parameterised in whole PEC system models, whilst dependencies on soil texture, moisture and temperature remain empirical. In conclusion, the annual net SOC storage change exceeds the minimum mitigation requirement (0.25 Mg C ha−1 year−1) under herbaceous and woody perennials by far (1.14 to 1.88 and 0.63 to 0.72 Mg C ha−1 year−1, respectively). However, long-term time series of field data are needed to verify sustainable SOC enrichment, as the physical and chemical stabilities of SOC pools remain uncertain, although they are essential in defining the sustainability of C sequestration (half-life >25 years).
The cost of enzymes for converting plant biomass materials to fermentable sugars is a major impediment to the development of a practical lignocellulosic ethanol industry. Research on enzyme optimization with the goal of reducing the cost of converting biomass materials such as corn stover into glucose, xylose, and other sugars is being actively pursued in private industry, academia, and government laboratories. Under the auspices of the Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, we are taking several approaches to address this problem, including “bioprospecting” for superior key enzymes, protein engineering, and high-level expression in plants. A particular focus is the development of synthetic enzyme mixtures, in order to learn which of the hundreds of known enzymes are important and in what ratios. A core set comprises cellobiohydrolase, endoglucanase, β-glucosidase, endoxylanase, and β-glucosidase. Accessory enzymes include esterases, proteases, nonhydrolytic proteins, and glycosyl hydrolases that cleave the less frequent chemical linkages found in plant cell walls.
The residues from the palm oil industry are the main contributors to biomass waste in Malaysia, and these wastes require extra attention with respect to handling. The biomass waste is a renewable resource that can potentially be used to produce absorbents, fuels, and chemical feedstocks through the pyrolysis process. In this study, the wastes of palm shell, empty fruit bunches, and mesocarp fiber were characterized and then pyrolyzed in a fixed-bed reactor under the following conditions: a temperature of 500 °C, a nitrogen flow rate of 2 L/min and reaction time of 60 min. After pyrolysis, characterization of the products with an emphasis on the bio-oil and the bio-char was performed using various approaches (including Karl Fischer water-content tests, FTIR, SEM, TGA and CNH/O analyses). The results showed that the pyrolysis of palm oil wastes yielded more bio-oil than bio-char or non-condensable gases. The results also indicated that all of the bio-oils were acidic and contained high levels of oxygen. The bio-oils heating values were low and varied from 10.49 MJ/kg to 14.78 MJ/kg. The heating values of the bio-chars (20–30 MJ/kg) were higher than those of the bio-oils. Among the biomasses studied in this work, palm shell contained the highest level of lignin and showed the highest levels of bio-char yield and fixed and elemental carbon in the raw and bio-char form.
Corn’s (Zea mays L.) stover is a potential nonfood, herbaceous bioenergy feedstock. A vital aspect of utilizing stover for bioenergy production is to establish sustainable harvest criteria that avoid exacerbating soil erosion or degrading soil organic carbon (SOC) levels. Our goal is to empirically estimate the minimum residue return rate required to sustain SOC levels at numerous locations and to identify which macroscale factors affect empirical estimates. Minimum residue return rate is conceptually useful, but only if the study is of long enough duration and a relationship between the rate of residue returned and the change in SOC can be measured. About one third of the Corn Stover Regional Partnership team (Team) sites met these criteria with a minimum residue return rate of 3.9 ± 2.18 Mg stover ha−1 yr−1, n = 6. Based on the Team and published corn-based data (n = 35), minimum residue return rate was 6.38 ± 2.19 Mg stover ha−1 yr−1, while including data from other cropping systems (n = 49), the rate averaged 5.74 ± 2.36 Mg residue ha−1 yr−1. In broad general terms, keeping about 6 Mg residue ha−1 yr−1 maybe a useful generic rate as a point of discussion; however, these analyses refute that a generic rate represents a universal target on which to base harvest recommendations at a given site. Empirical data are needed to calibrate, validate, and refine process-based models so that valid sustainable harvest rate guidelines are provided to producers, industry, and action agencies.
The bioconversion of carbohydrates in the herbaceous bioenergy crop, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), is limited by the associated lignins in the biomass. The cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) gene encodes a key enzyme which catalyzes the last step of lignin monomer biosynthesis. Transgenic switchgrass plants were produced with a CAD RNAi gene construct under the control of the maize ubiquitin promoter. The transgenic lines showed reduced CAD expression levels, reduced enzyme activities, reduced lignin content, and altered lignin composition. The modification of lignin biosynthesis resulted in improved sugar release and forage digestibility. Significant increases of saccharification efficiency were obtained in most of the transgenic lines with or without acid pretreatment. A negative correlation between lignin content and sugar release was found among these transgenic switchgrass lines. The transgenic materials have the potential to allow for improved efficiency of cellulosic ethanol production.