Why are we interested in "woody cell walls"?

Lignocellulose from woody cell wall is a renewable resource and a promising fossil-fuel alternative for industrial purposes. Its complex structure is mainly composed of cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin, and all of these come from the carbon sequestration process via plants’ photosynthesis. The ratios and structures of these three components vary by plant species, and these dramatically affect the energy input and chemical consumption for the lateral application. Understanding of the complexity of the wood formation process could lead us to engineer tailored biomass suitable for specific industrial purposes.

質細胞壁三大主要組成是由纖維素、半纖維素及木質素所構成,均為植物利用光合作用將大氣中的二氧化碳固定後,生合成而來。不同植物之三大組成比例及化學結構不同,影響後續材料化學及物理利用所需之能量、藥劑輸入及後續產品收益甚劇。瞭解細胞壁複雜的生合成過程,將可設計並提供量途訂作的木質細胞壁材料,減少後續利用所需之能量消耗及化學藥劑使用,增加產品收益,並拓展木質細胞壁的應用領域。