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Supercomputers Help Solve Puzzle-Like Bond For Biofuels

By Texas Advanced Computing Center

March 19, 2015

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) researchers used the Extreme Science and Discovery Environment (XSEDE) to discover the nature of the adhesion complex of cellulosomal proteins, a breakthrough that could improve efforts to develop catalysts for biofuel production from non-food waste plants.

Simulation and analysis of the bimolecular bond was conducted on both the Texas Advanced Computing Center's Stampede supercomputer and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications' Blue Waters supercomputer housed at UIUC. The supercomputers are part of the XSEDE virtual system, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, which enables scientists to interactively share computing resources, data, and expertise.

"XSEDE allowed us to employ one of the fastest supercomputers to, in parallel, perform the simulations that helped us to reveal how the building blocks of the cellulosomes become ultrastable in harsh environments," says UIUC's Rafael C. Bernardi. "The massive amount of computer time necessary to perform our study, and the fact that fast supercomputers are necessary to have a fast iteration with experimentalists, makes a study like this simply not feasible without support from public available supercomputers like Stampede."

From Texas Advanced Computing Center
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