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Title: Advances in understanding the surface chemistry of lignocellulosic biomass via time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry

Overcoming the natural recalcitrance of lignocellulosic biomass is necessary in order to efficiently convert biomass into biofuels or biomaterials and many times this requires some type of chemical pretreatment and/or biological treatment. While bulk chemical analysis is the traditional method of determining the impact a treatment has on biomass, the chemistry on the surface of the sample can differ from the bulk chemistry. Specifically, enzymes and microorganisms bind to the surface of the biomass and their efficiency could be greatly impacted by the chemistry of the surface. Therefore, it is important to study and understand the chemistry of the biomass at the surface. Time-of- flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) is a powerful tool that can spectrally and spatially analyze the surface chemistry of a sample. This review discusses the advances in understanding lignocellulosic biomass surface chemistry using the ToF-SIMS by addressing the instrument parameters, biomass sample preparation, and characteristic lignocellulosic ion fragmentation peaks along with their typical location in the plant cell wall. Furthermore, the use of the ToF-SIMS in detecting chemical changes due to chemical pretreatments, microbial treatments, and physical or genetic modifications is discussed along with possible future applications of the instrument in lignocellulosic biomass studies.
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Energy Science & Engineering
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2050-0505
Society of Chemical Industry, Wiley
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; enzymatic hydrolysis; genetic modification; lignocellulosic biomass; pretreatment; secondary ions; time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1337863; OSTI ID: 1343323