Call for Papers and Session Topics for 36th SBFC

Posted 8/15/13 by . Filed under News and Updates.

Call for papers for 36th SBFC

Abstract submission is now open for the 36th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals happening in the spring of 2014. Please submit your abstract online.

Session topics for 36th SBFC

Feedstock I – Plant Genetics and Recalcitrance
Research aimed at producing improved plant cultivars is underway worldwide with the goal of developing biomass sources with improved cell wall structure, growth and composition characteristics beneficial to bioconversion. This session will highlight research on breeding to improve plant yield, advances in domestication of promising biomass species, in planta expression of enzymes, fundamental understanding of biophysical origin of biomass recalcitrance, developments in crops with reduced recalcitrance for better processing characteristics, and advances in plant systems biology research.

Feedstock II – Biomass Physicochemical Analysis
Physicochemical properties of biomass often dictate its suitability as a feedstock for biological or thermal conversion. Improved methods for characterization, such as physical or composition analysis, and how this translates to biomass “quality” will be discussed. Advances in rapid analysis technologies for high throughput analysis and screening will be part of this session.

Feedstock III – Biomass Supply, Integrated Biorefineries, and Sustainability
Existing and newly developed plant biomass types will be favored that can be produced and delivered to integrated biorefineries at the lowest possible cost. Biomass production also has to be environmentally sustainable. This session will discuss studies and demonstrations of advances in biomass production technology, improved agronomic practices, harvesting technologies and sustainability issues such as land and water use, economics, and supply chain logistics critical to dramatically reducing biomass feedstock cost. Progress on life-cycle analysis and related energy efficiency and sustainability analyses and their validation for integrated biorefinery applications will also be part of this session.

Pretreatment and Fractionation Technology I, II and III (three sessions, with subtitles to be defined)
Lignocellulosic biomass is difficult to economically disassemble at high yield due to the presence of highly modified structural carbohydrates and aromatic (lignin) polymers. These sessions will discuss recent developments and scale-up in mechanical, chemical, and biochemical pretreatment and fractionation processes – both existing and new approaches (e.g., ionic liquids). Improved measurement and control of pretreatment and fractionation processes will also be described. The three sessions on this topic will be broadly differentiated by the type of deconstruction process chemistry being discussed.

Enzyme Science and Technology I – Assays and Biochemical Characterization
Enzyme expression and function requires advanced tools such as sophisticated enzyme assays and characterization techniques. New and improved assay methods and techniques for characterizing biomass depolymerizing and debranching enzymes will be included in this session. Progress in understanding and applying oxidative enzymes, expansins, swollenins, and other types of cell wall disrupting enzymes to improve plant cell wall deconstruction and in understanding and improving enzyme synergy in biomass hydrolysis will also be included.

Enzyme Science and Technology II – Modeling and Structure/Function Relationships
Advanced knowledge obtained by modeling enzyme structure and function is being used to guide metabolic engineering and rational selection of targets for site-directed changes to improve enzyme performance. The development and verification of such models are crucial to these efforts. This session will highlight case studies advancing molecular-level modeling and structure-function studies to increase understanding of enzyme functionality and catalytic mechanisms.

Enzyme Science and Technology III – Enzyme Discovery and Engineering
Naturally occurring enzymes can be powerful tools for bioprocessing but often their characteristics must be improved to their use to be economically viable. Papers in this session will describe novel newly discovered enzymes as well as advances being made in enzyme engineering to improve enzyme activity, thermostability, substrate range, or tolerance to other process conditions. Improvements in enzymatic lignin deconstruction and progress in reducing the cost of enzymes for biomass refining applications will also be part of this session.

Microbial Science and Technology I, II – Yeast and Fungi
Yeast and fungi are powerful biocatalysts, however an ideal microorganism capable of complete and rapid conversion of multiple or mixed substrates does not yet exist. This session will emphasize recent progress in improving yeast and fungi to overcome fundamental limitations to rapid conversion of biomass-derived (renewable) carbon sources. Research topics within scope include new microbial strain discovery and testing, advances in genetic and pathway engineering for microbial strain evolution, as well as evaluation of natural or constructed consortia for bioconversion. There will be two sessions on yeast and fungi.

Microbial Science and Technology III – Bacteria
Application of newly developed bacteria for ethanol and other fuels and chemicals production will be presented in this session. Research topics to be highlighted include new bacterial strain discovery and testing, advances using genetic and pathway engineering for strain evolution, as well as studies of natural or constructed bacterial consortia for improved conversion processes.

Microbial Science and Technology IV – Algae
Algal cultures are increasingly becoming a microbial platform recognized to have high potential for production of lipids, chemicals and fuels using both photosynthetic and heterotrophic approaches. This session will focus on discovery and characterization of new algae strains and progress to improve growth, product formation and harvesting efficiencies. It will also cover innovations in the use of open and closed production systems and improvements in understanding and demonstrating the practicality and economic viability of such systems.

Bioprocessing, Reactor Design, and Separations Technology I, II
Economically viable bioprocesses require definitive substrate characterization, effective material handling and robust conversion technologies in combination with efficient downstream or in situ product separation and recovery. Papers in this session will describe advances in the development, testing and demonstration of bioconversion processes spanning early to late stages of process development and integration. Topics to be emphasized include biocatalyst recycle, integrated production and recovery, overcoming material handling bottleneck and advances in hybrid thermochemical/biological (or biological/thermochemical) conversion process development.. There will be two sessions covering these topics.

Advanced Biofuels, Chemicals, and Co-Products I, II
Chemicals and advanced biofuels (such as bio-based gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, higher alcohols, fatty acids, biogas, etc.) can be produced from biomass-derived sugars, synthesis gases, or other sustainable carbon sources. This session will highlight advances in biological and combined thermochemical-biological (or biological-thermochemical) production routes. Production of bio-based intermediates suitable as feedstocks for petroleum refineries as well as the development of new products from lignin or other potential biorefining side streams will also be described. There will be two session covering these topics.

Biofuels and Bioproducts Commercialization, Economics and Sustainability
Advanced biofuels technologies are starting to emerge from laboratories around the world to enter the commercial marketplace. This session will emphasize recent progress in pilot and larger scale biorefinery integration and demonstration to further commercialization of advanced biofuels and bioproducts technologies. It will also describe associated techno-economic evaluations and life cycle and other sustainability assessments of envisioned full scale commercial biorefining processes. Papers are also sought the discuss progress in understanding issues related to large-scale delivery and use of biofuels, including distribution and delivery logistics and engine manufacturer acceptance criteria.

ST1: Synthetic Biology (by invitation only)
New synthetic biology tools can be used to create and improve novel biological systems and the advance of high-speed low-cost sequencing and gene fabrication technologies is leading to increased activity in this field. This session will highlight advances in using this new approach for biocatalyst design and the develop of novel biological systems. Invited speakers will present in this session.

ST2: Bioenergy Science Center Update (by invitation only)
During the last four years, bioenergy research centers and institutes have made tremendous progress in developing and applying new fundamental knowledge to improve technologies for producing biomass-derived fuels and chemicals. Invited speakers from the three United States Department of Energy-funded Bioenergy Research Centers and well as from other US and international bioenergy research institutes will describe their respective research goals and recent progress.

Poster Sessions I, II
Two poster sessions will be held the first two evenings of the symposium, with approximately half of the posters presented (with presenter on hand) each evening. The posters themselves will remain on display throughout the meeting.

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