Ajaya Biswal

Ajaya Biswal
Non Tenure-Track Faculty
Associate Research Scientist
2047 Complex Carbohydrate Research Center

Research Interests:

Plants and, more specifically, their cell walls, are becoming increasingly important as a renewable source for biofuels and bioproducts. Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant renewable resource on the Earth. As fossil fuel reserves diminish, the demand for gasoline and biofuels is increasing substantially. But the major challenge with corn-based biofuel is its sustainability. Lignocellulosic biomass is available in perennial bioenergy crops such as Populus and switchgrass. A critical barrier in developing a sustainable biofuel industry is that lignocellulosic biomass is recalcitrant to microbial access to the plant cell wall polysaccharides. Therefore, my current research focuses on an efficient way to enable depolymerization of plant cell wall polysaccharides into fermentable hexose and pentose sugars through genetic, enzymatic and/or chemical improvement of cellulosic ethanol technologies to yield next-generation biofuels, coproduction of novel biopolymers, commodity chemicals, and biomaterials.