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37th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals April 27-30, 2015 San Diego, CA

Submitted by on December 12, 2014 – 1:22 pmNo Comment
37th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals     April 27-30, 2015     San Diego, CA The meeting format for the 37th SBFC will have a total of 18 oral presentation sessions, 2 evening poster sessions as well as 2 special topics sessions will be convened over three and a half days, with technical topics spanning feedstocks, biocatalysts and conversion sciences to separations, process development, biorefinery commercialization, and economic and sustainability assessment. The program is designed to provide ample opportunities for those attending to engage in informal discussions and exchanges with their international colleagues. Feedstocks (3 sessions)
Renewable plant-based feedstocks are the starting materials for any biomass conversion process. This track focuses on manipulation, analysis, and the logistics of optimizing these feedstocks for subsequent conversion, whether in a constrained process or more generally. Manipulation of feedstock properties to enhance conversion, including higher enzymatic or microbial reaction rates or yields, are of particular interest. The following lists general, non-exclusive topics of interest for this track:
  • Genetic and environmental manipulation of feedstocks for improved conversion traits
  • New and improved analytical methodologies for characterization of feedstocks
  • Comparative analyses or performance of different feedstocks
  • Enhanced agricultural and land-use practices for growing feedstocks
  • Harvesting, processing, storage, and transportation of feedstocks
 Pretreatment and Fractionation (3 sessions)
Pretreatment and fractionation encompasses a wide variety of processes for making biomass feedstocks more amenable to enzymatic or microbial conversion. Numerous methodologies exist and there are distinct advantages and downsides to each. Advances in technical approaches that decrease conversion costs through increasing rates and yields of products are of particular interest. Fractionation methodologies used to subdivide biomass into its major constituents (cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin) are also of high interest. The following lists general, non-exclusive topics of interest for this track:
  • Thermal processes designed to make biomass feedstocks more amenable to subsequent enzymatic or microbial conversion to bioproducts (i.e., not direct conversion)
  • Acid, neutral, or alkaline processes designed to render biomass feedstocks more amenable to subsequent enzymatic or microbial conversion to bio-products
  • Mechanical, ionic liquid, gas, or other technologies designed to make biomass feedstocks more amenable to subsequent enzymatic or microbial conversion to bio-products
  • Combinations of processes listed above
  • Physical or chemical processes designed to separate biomass into cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and other subcomponent fractions
 Enzyme Science and Technology (3 sessions)
Enzymes are central to biological generation of fuels and chemicals from renewable feedstocks, whether through deconstruction of lignocellulose, conversion of biomass-derived compounds to products, or via autotrophic carbon fixation. This multi-session track will highlight advances in enzyme discovery, characterization and kinetic analysis, performance engineering, and structure- and model-driven understanding of catalytic mechanisms. Of particular interest are studies on increased thermostability, oxidative mechanisms of biomass deconstruction, enzyme synergy in biomass conversion, and in developing robust consolidated bioprocessing-based conversion processes. The following lists general, non-exclusive topics of interest for this track:
  • New and improved assay methods and characterization techniques for biomass depolymerizing enzymes
  • Enzyme engineering for improved activity, thermostability, substrate utilization, and process condition tolerance
  • Enzymatic lignin deconstruction
  • The role of oxidative enzymes in plant cell wall deconstruction
  • The function and application of expansins, swollenins, and accessory enzymes that facilitate cell wall disruption
  • Enzyme synergy in biomass hydrolysis: cellulases, hemicellulases, and accessory and oxidative enzymes
  • Enzyme modeling and structural studies to develop improved understanding of enzyme functionality, mechanisms, and structure-function relationships
 Microbial Science and Technology (3 sessions)
Microbes are essential biocatalysts in both heterotrophic and autotrophic production of fuels and chemicals. Alcohols, lipids, hydrocarbons, and a wide variety of other organic compounds can be produced by microbial systems. As the opportunities to use these clean biocatalysts in the production of renewable fuels and chemicals becomes more widespread, improvements in rate, titer, conversion efficiency, and yield are needed to overcome the scale and economic obstacles to achieving an economically viable bio-based fuels and chemicals market. This multi-session track will emphasize recent research progress utilizing bacteria, fungi, and algae to overcome these fundamental obstacles. Topics of particular interest include new microbe strain discovery, progress using genetic engineering, microbial evolution and systems biology approaches to enhance strain performance, as well as testing of natural or constructed consortia for improved microbial bioconversion. The following lists general, non-exclusive topics of interest for this track:
  • New biocatalyst discovery and development for biofuels and chemicals production
  • Improved algal production of lipids through strain and process engineering
  • Microbe engineering for consolidated bioprocessing and alternative substrate utilization
  • Microbial metabolic pathway engineering and process development for new microbial-based products
 Renewable Fuels, Chemicals, and Bio-based Products (4 sessions)
A wide variety of bio-based chemicals and advanced biofuels can be produced from biomass-derived sugars, synthesis gases, or other sustainable carbon sources. Here, the focus is primarily on the products and general methods to pretreat, enzymatically hydrolyze, or process products should be directed to other, more pertinent, tracks. Sessions in this track will highlight advances in the development and marketing of biological and combined thermochemical-biological (or biological-thermochemical) routes to producing bio-based products from renewable feedstocks. Also of interest are studies describing progress in producing bio-based intermediates suitable for upgrading in petroleum refineries as well as in developing new chemicals and fuels products from lignin or other potential biorefining side streams. The following lists general, non-exclusive topics of interest for this track:
  • Development of bio-based chemicals for large volume non-fuel applications, such as bioplastics, biopolymers and feedstock chemicals (i.e., precursors, intermediates)
  • Bio-based chemicals for lower volume specialty non-fuel applications
  • Improvements in lignocellulosic alcohol fuels (ethanol, butanol, longer chain alcohols, and beyond)
  • Developments in triglyceride-based biodiesel production, both primary fuel and/or co-product production
  • Novel routes to producing advanced biomass-based biofuels such as direct drop-in hydrocarbon replacements for gasoline, diesel or jet fuels
  • Techno-economic and life-cycle analyses of bio-based fuels and chemicals products
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