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Undergraduate interns contribute to NARA

NARA funds educational opportunities for students at all levels — grade school through college graduate. For the past three years, NARA has provided summer research internships to college undergraduates through the NARA SURE program. SURE (Summer Undergraduate Research Experience) is a program coordinated by Washington State University that provides research internships to undergraduate students throughout the United States and is funded by multiple organizations including NARA.

For the summer of 2014, NARA funded five undergraduate students to conduct research …more

NARA’s 2014 Cumulative Report is available online

Webpage for NARA's 2nd Cumulative report
Webpage for NARA’s 2nd Cumulative report

NARA’s second Cumulative Report is now available online. This report describes research efforts and activities conducted between April 2013 through March 2014.

You can view the NARA Cumulative Report: April 2013-March 2014 here.

Progress reports are sectioned within the Project’s five goals: Sustainable Biojet, Value Lignin Co-Products, Rural Economic Development, …more

Finding ways to improve cellulase activity

 

Illustration of cellulase enzyme on cellulose. Courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Illustration of cellulase enzyme on cellulose. Courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory

 

 

 

NARA investigates conversion technologies that rely on enzymes called cellulases. Cellulases break down the cellulose and hemicellulose polymers found in wood and release simple sugars. The simple sugars can then be used to make isobutanol and other …more

Converting wood simple sugars to isobutanol

Conversion process from forest residuals to hydrolysate to isobutanol. Images courtesy of Gevo, Inc
Conversion process from forest residuals to hydrolysate to isobutanol. Images courtesy of Gevo, Inc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gevo, a NARA affiliated organization, has developed a fermentation and process technology that converts biomass sugars into isobutanol and further into biojet fuel through chemical processing.  To convert the simple sugars …more

Screening Douglas-fir trees for production of biofuels and other valuable chemicals

Douglas-fir core samples used to determine recalcitrance variability.
Douglas-fir core samples used to determine recalcitrance variability.

Douglas-fir trees are not all alike. Some grow faster, some adapt better to harsher climates and they all differ somewhat in their chemical makeup. These distinctions are due to variations in their genetic makeup. Those interested in breeding plantation trees for timber value have capitalized on genetic variation to select …more

Producing dicarboxylic acids from biorefinery lignin.

The progression of lignin conversion to dicarboxylic acids. Image courtesy of Dr. Xiao Zhang, WSU.
The progression of lignin conversion to dicarboxylic acids. Image courtesy of Dr. Xiao Zhang, WSU.

NARA supports research that discovers ways to develop commercially valuable products from forest residuals. When forest residuals are converted to biojet fuel, a significant amount of the material remains. That remaining material is a mixture of many …more