EBI Personnel Directory Gao, Fang
EBI chemists are working to find alternatives to the enzymes that serve as nature’s catalysts in lignin deconstruction. This project conducts studies to develop transition-metal catalysts for this purpose. They have identified nickel catalysts that selectively remove groups containing oxygen atoms from lignin model compounds in precise places without destroying the entire molecule. The less oxygen lignin has, the better it will work as a fuel. The group will work to translate those fundamental studies to the catalytic cleavage of lignin itself.