By Lynn L. Bergeson
On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) issued a new report, Moving Beyond Drop-In Replacements: Performance-Advantaged Biobased Chemicals Workshop Summary Report, that summarizes presentations and discussions from a workshop BETO held in June 2017 to gather stakeholder input on the research and development necessary for novel biobased compounds and functional replacements. DOE states that performance-advantaged biobased products and functional replacements can offer many advantages to the U.S. bioeconomy. The conclusion section of the report states that performance-advantaged biobased products present an important opportunity for the bioeconomy, and the ideal novel biobased compound would achieve the following:
- Allow for new functionality in end products and generate new markets for manufacturers of biobased materials;
- Increase the value of domestic biomass resources and provide a new revenue stream for biorefineries; and
- Reduce the environmental impact of some manufacturing processes.
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On June 20, 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced that the Fuels Institute and the national laboratories that comprise the DOE Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines initiative would be co-hosting a series of collaborative, single-day stakeholder meetings entitled the Octane Workshop Series across multiple locations from July 9-12, 2018, to “review current research on the role of octane and other fuel properties relevant to producing fuels that could enable the design of more efficient spark ignition, internal combustion engines.” Each session will present the latest findings of research concerning fuels and engine options that might enhance vehicle efficiency and reduce emissions, and the opportunities and challenges associated with delivering such products to market.
The Octane Workshop Series will include the following focus areas:
- Regulatory (July 9, 2018; Irvine, California);
- Biofuel (July 10, 2018; Wichita, Kansas);
- Refinery (July 11, 2018; Houston, Texas); and
- Auto Industry (July 12, 2018; Detroit, Michigan).
DOE states that these workshops will be “highly informative for anyone engaged in petroleum refining, biofuels production, liquid fuel distribution and retailing, automotive engineering, fuels and vehicles regulations, and/or fuels and vehicles research.” Registration for each separate event is available online
By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced the availability of presentations from its Advanced Development and Optimization (ADO) Workshop. As previously reported in the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) blog post DOE Advanced Development And Optimization Workshop, the workshop took place at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on December 12-13, 2017. Discussion focused on how the new ADO program area can best serve stakeholders in developing the bioenergy industry, existing assets from past investments, and future needs and opportunities for maximizing such assets’ value.
The following presentations are available on the BETO website:
- Thermal and Catalytic Processing Capabilities at NREL -- Zia Abdullah, NREL
- Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility (IBRF) - Overview -- Zia Abdullah, NREL
- Process and Product Development with PNNL -- Corinne Drennan, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
- Industry – Lab Success Stories -- Rick Elander and Josh Schaidle, DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
- Summary of Key Take-Aways: IBR Optimization and Alternative Jet Fuel Workshops -- Borislava Kostova, BETO
- ADO Workshop Overview -- Jonathan Male, BETO
- Lab/Industry Contracting Vehicles -- Liz Moore, BETO
- Thermochemical Conversion -- Liz Moore, BETO
- Biomass Feedstock National User Facility (BFNUF) -- Quang Nguyen, Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
- ADO Workshop Briefing -- Jim Spaeth, BETO
- LANL Capabilities Applicable to the Advanced Development and Optimization of Biofuels -- Andrew Sutton, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
- AB PDU - Determining R&D Problems in Scale-Up and Resolving them by accessing National Lab Resources -- Deepti Tanjore, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL)
- Enabling Tools And Facilities For Production Of Biofuels And Bioproducts -- Meltem Urgun-Demirtas, Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
- Introduction to ORNL Bioenergy Technologies Program -- Brian West, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
By Kathleen M. Roberts
DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting an Advanced Development and Optimization (ADO) Workshop on December 12-13, 2017, in Golden, Colorado. At the workshop, BETO intends to discuss how the new ADO program area can best serve stakeholders in developing the bioenergy industry, and to raise awareness of existing assets from past investments and discuss future needs and opportunities for maximizing these assets’ value. The ADO program aims to remove the risk associated with bioenergy production technologies through validated proof of performance at the pilot, demonstration, and pioneer scales and to remove any additional barriers to commercialization. More information on the ADO program is available on the BETO website. Registration is available online.
By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting a Workshop on Moving Beyond Drop-In Replacements: Performance Advantaged Bio-Based Chemicals on June 1, 2017, in Denver, Colorado. The purpose of the workshop is to solicit stakeholder feedback on what research and development is necessary for writing a functional replacements and novel biobased compounds strategic plan. The discussion, which will be restricted to polymers, small molecules, and other building block chemicals, will center on the following questions:
- Would a strategy document for bio-based novel compounds and functional replacements be useful? What would it look like?
- What is the best strategy for developing a bio-based novel compounds and functional replacements guiding document?
- What are the biggest challenges in identifying novel compounds and functional replacements?
- What are the most critical properties to screen for when developing screening protocols?
- How can BETO best bridge the gap between those producing novel bio-based compounds and those who need novel compounds or replacements for their formulations?
Registration is available online.
By Kathleen M. Roberts
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting an Algae Cultivation for Carbon Capture and Utilization Workshop on May 23-24, 2017, in Orlando, Florida. The event will feature facilitated discussions focused on gathering stakeholder input on innovative technologies and business strategies for growing algae on waste carbon dioxide (CO2) resources. Stakeholders will be encouraged to consider challenges and opportunities related to:
||Sourcing CO2, including quality, quantity, siting, and transport considerations;
||Cultivating algae, including biomass productivity, efficiency in CO2 utilization, and carbon balances in end products; and
||Finding sustainable “win-win” solutions to reducing CO2 emissions while finding cost savings.
Workshop discussion will help inform DOE strategies to realize affordable, scalable, and sustainable production biofuels and bioproducts made from algae. Registration is available online.
By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.
On March 28, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced the publication of the report on the current state of alternative aviation fuels that was developed using findings from peer-reviewed studies, scientific working groups, and BETO stakeholder input from the Alternative Aviation Fuel Workshop in September 2016. The four key topic areas include:
||Economic and technical competitiveness;
||Fuel conversion and scale-up;
||Environmental sustainability and life-cycle benefits; and
||Feedstock and product supply chains.
Information gathered during the workshop, such as best practices to finance production facilities, effectively scale biorefining technologies, optimize production economics, and streamline certification processes, will be used to advance the understanding of technical barriers limiting the competitiveness of aviation biofuels. Many public- and private-sector organizations have committed to adopting biobased aviation fuels because, unlike passenger vehicles, airplanes cannot be fueled with electricity yet. More information on the Alternative Aviation Fuel Workshop is available in the Biobased and Renewable Product Advocacy Group (BRAG®) blog post “DOE Hosts Alternative Aviation Fuels Workshop, New LUC Emissions Research Discussed
Don't miss the upcoming European Commission (EC) Knowledge Exchange Platform (KEP) workshop "From bio-waste to bio-based products: the potential for regional innovation development." This Brussels-based session of the KEP Bioeconomy Showcasing Event will present the EC's biotechnology initiative and policy framework, as well as case studies on regional growth of biobased products. This workshop is scheduled for October 11, 2016, as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities conference. Registration is free and open through September 26, 2016.
On April 8, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a Save the Date for the upcoming Algal Biology Toolbox Workshop. The workshop is intended to gather experts on algal biology to discuss the current state of algal biological tools, challenges to developing and applying biology tools to improve algae performance, and strategies to work towards commercializing algae biofuels. The workshop will occur on May 24-25, 2016, in San Diego, California. DOE states that registration information and the agenda will be released soon.
The spring 2016 Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership (ATP3) workshop entitled, "Principles and Processes: Algae Culture Maintenance, Production and Downstream Processing" is approaching. The workshop runs May 16-20, 2016, and will be held at the Santa Fe Community College and the Los Alamos National Laboratory's New Mexico Consortium (LANL NMC). The event is limited to 15 people, and will include a tour of the LANL NMC and field training including collecting cultures from ponds and photobioreactors. In addition to these hands-on experiences, there will also be lectures and laboratory training from leading algae experts, biochemists, and engineers.