News | January 11, 2016

Rapid, Low Cost Laser-Based Technique For Biomass Analysis Described In Industrial Biotechnology

Industrial Biotechnology

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is emerging as a fast, cost-efficient method for identifying the total amount and specific compounds that comprise the inorganic component of biomass. Accurate and reliable analysis of these minerals, such as aluminum, calcium, iron, and silicon is essential, as this "ash" can cause problems when converting biomass to hydrocarbon biofuels, as described in a study published in Industrial Biotechnology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

In "Rapid Analysis of Inorganic Species in Herbaceous Materials Using Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy," Tyler Westover and Rachel Emerson, Idaho National Laboratory (Idaho Falls), compare the results obtained from analyzing 12 samples using LIBS to the results from three common ash-analysis methods that reply on inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry/mass spectrometry (ICP-OES/MS). Analysis for nine inorganic elements showed the accuracy of LIBS to be comparable to that of ICP-OES methods, with concentrations measured to an uncertainty of about 100 parts per million. The researchers identify several key benefits of LIBS, including its low cost, rapid turnaround time, lack of reagent consumption, and minimal sample preparation.

About the Journal
Industrial Biotechnology, led by Co-Editors-in-Chief Larry Walker, PhD, and Glenn Nedwin, PhD, MoT, CEO and President, TripleDNA Consulting, LLC, Davis, CA, is an authoritative journal focused on biobased industrial and environmental products and processes, published bimonthly in print and online. The Journal reports on the science, technology, business, and policy developments of the emerging global bioeconomy, including biobased production of energy and fuels, chemicals, materials, and consumer goods. The articles published include critically reviewed original research in all related sciences (biology, biochemistry, chemical and process engineering, agriculture), in addition to expert commentary on current policy, funding, markets, business, legal issues, and science trends. Industrial Biotechnology offers the premier forum bridging basic research and R&D with later-stage commercialization for sustainable biobased industrial and environmental applications.

SOURCE: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.