BioEnergy Research Center 2007-2017


A new phase in bioproduct and bioenergy research was announced in July 2017 with the establishment of four DOE Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs), which will provide the scientific breakthroughs for a new generation of sustainable, cost-effective bioproducts and bioenergy. The Center for Bioenergy Innovation is led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. CBI's goal is to accelerate the domestication of bioenergy crops and targeted consolidated bioprocessing innovations to improve cost efficiencies within the bioenergy supply chain.

The BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) was a multi-institutional (18 partners), Department of Energy-funded research organization performing basic and applied science dedicated to improving yields of biofuels by focusing on the fundamental understanding and elimination of biomass recalcitrance.  This multidisciplinary research encompassed the biological, chemical, physical, and computational sciences, as well as mathematics and engineering.  BESC began September 30, 2007 with five years of funding and was renewed for a further five years.  In this time, BESC has redefined the scientific basis of the phenomenon of biomass recalcitrance;  BESC has demonstrated that biomass recalcitrance is not just an observable phenotype but that recalcitrance has biological mechanism(s) that can be manipulated. Further, BESC has identified multiple levers by which to overcome recalcitrance, most of which were not prominent when BESC began.

For details of BESC accomplishments, please see the timeline. poplar

Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) Dataset

The GWAS dataset comprises more than 28 million single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, derived from approximately 882 resequenced poplar genotypes. Each SNP represents a variation in a single DNA nucleotide, or building block, and can act as a biological marker, helping scientists locate genes associated with certain characteristics, conditions, or diseases. [Image courtesy ORNL] Read More

Archived Information

BESC brochure (October 2015) [PDF]

Organization Charts

  • Leadership [PDF]
  • Biomass Formation and Modification [PDF]
  • Biomass Deconstruction and Conversion [PDF]
  • Enabling Technologies [PDF]

Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board [PDF]

Institutional Partners [PDF]

BioEnergy Science Center 2007-2017