Research Topic

Biofuels and Bioenergy

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Biofuels have gained popularity because of the growing concern about global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions and the expected rise in oil demand and prices. Biofuels can be directly or indirectly derived from plants or microalgae through the process of photosynthesis. Feedstock for biomass ...

Biofuels have gained popularity because of the growing concern about global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions and the expected rise in oil demand and prices. Biofuels can be directly or indirectly derived from plants or microalgae through the process of photosynthesis. Feedstock for biomass production, conversion of biomass, biofuels transportation, and utilization of biofuels are essential steps in biofuels and bioenergy industry and each step still requires a lot of effort. As a widely available source of clean, renewable energy, biofuels and bioenergy should play an essential part in reaching targets to alleviate demand for petroleum products with a viable alternative, and in reducing long-term greenhouse emissions. Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant renewable resource on Earth. The bulk of plant biomass is plant cell walls. Therefore, the plant cell wall is a major target for genetic improvement for conversion and utilization of biomass to biofuel.

To achieve this, new biotechnological advances at the frontiers of plant science will become essential. Today the main challenge in plant biotechnology for bioenergy production is to substantially increase crop yield while keeping a suitable set of chemical and physical traits for bioenergy production. Over the next decade major advances are expected in the development of novel materials derived from plants (i.e. specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and bio-based products), improved processing technologies in the biorefineries, and farming practices and genetic engineering of bioenergy feedstocks.

In this Research Topic, we aim to make a cohesive collection of the knowledge on the current progress on the area of plant biotechnology for bioenergy production. This will hopefully bring together valuable information for researchers and practitioners in the biofuels and bioenergy industry chain. We will integrate several of the key components such as feedstocks evaluation/potential, genetic engineering of cell wall traits, ongoing innovations in enabling biotechnologies and processing platforms, and the environmental, ecological and economic considerations in bioenergy productions. This knowledge will provide a critical step to drive a sustainable biofuel and bio-economy around the globe.

This Research Topic will gather current knowledge and pressing questions about biofuels and bioenergy. Original Research, Review, Mini Review, Methods and Opinion will be welcome. Subjects welcomed includes, but are not limited to, the following aspects:

- Biological production of chemicals and bioproducts from biomass
- Choices of bioenergy crops and feedstocks
- Breeding and genetic engineering for feedstock improvements
- Emerging concepts on plant cell/cell wall areas for biofuel engineering and imaging
- Molecular regulation of traits related with biofuels and bioenergy
- Biotechnology regulatory framework for the production of biofuels


Keywords: Biofuels, Bioenergy, Biomass, Plant Cell Wall, Bioengineering


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