Lynd Research Lab
The research lab at Dartmouth led by Professor Lee Lynd is active in research on the following topics:
- Microbial Cellulose Utilization, including fundamental and applied aspects
- Metabolic Engineering, focusing on thermophilic cellulolytic bacteria for fuel production
- Innovative Biomass Processing Technologies, including development, design, and evaluation
- Sustainable Bioenergy Futures, including resource, environment, and economic development
We approach these topics from a diversity of academic disciplines with molecular biology, microbiology, chemical/biochemical engineering providing the foundation for the first three. Consistent with the "Pasteur's Quadrant" model articulated by Donald Stokes (Brookings Institution Press, Washington, DC, 1997), we see advancing applied capability and increased fundamental understanding as having strong potential to be convergent and mutually-reinforcing, and we aspire to work in this mode.
A central theme of the Lynd group is processing cellulosic biomass in a single step without added enzymes. Such "consolidated bioprocessing" (CBP) is a potential breakthrough, and "is widely considered to be the ultimate low-cost configuration for cellulose hydrolysis and fermentation" (joint DOE/USDA Roadmap, 2007). We are focused on production of ethanol, a promising renewable fuel. The CBP strategy is however potentially applicable to a very broad range of fuels and chemicals.