Extracting Energy From Plants: Why is this important? A Virtual Field Trip by Dr. Mahdi Abu-Omar

By Lisa Paulette Kirkham

Purdue University

Download (MP4)

Licensed under



Published on


Dr. Mahdi Abu-Omar, Robert Wetherill Professor of Chemistry, presents a 20 minute virtual field trip for high school STEM students. Dr. Abu-Omar describes work he is doing on the conversion of biomass to biofuels, emphasizing techniques for breaking down lignin in plant materials. Lignin contains great amounts of stored energy. However, it is very difficult to efficiently extract the energy due to the chemical make-up of lignin. Dr. Abu-Omar's group is developing new mechanisms to obtain virtually all the stored energy in given plant materials. During the live broadcast on January 14, 2014, students were able to email in questions to Dr. Abu-Omar, which he answered live during the broadcast. If you are interested in participating in future live virtual field trips, please contact Lisa Kirkham at lkirkham@purdue.edu.


Dr. Mahdi Abu-Omar - Robert Wetherill Professor of Chemistry Lisa Kirkham - Project Coordinator the Discovery Learning Research Center Emily Carter - Media Specialist Discovery Learning Research Center

Sponsored by

Discovery Learning Reserch Center and C3Bio

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Lisa Paulette Kirkham (2014), "Extracting Energy From Plants: Why is this important? A Virtual Field Trip by Dr. Mahdi Abu-Omar," https://stemedhub.org/resources/2086.

    BibTex | EndNote


Ann Bessenbacher

Purdue University