Program Topics

Topic Area 1 - Biomass Resource Supply, Development and Characterization


Biomass Supply and Logistics
  • Advances in the development and application of improved agronomic practices/technologies to enhance the quantity and quality of plant materials as a renewable feedstock base.
  • Developments to increase plant biomass yields.
  • Improvements in harvesting technology and supply chain logistics.
Plant Science and Technology
  • Plant science to enhance the quantity and quality of plant materials as a renewable feedstocks base.
  • Native structure and diversity of plant cell walls.
  • Breeding or manipulation of plant cell wall composition to improve plant yield or processing characteristics.
  • In planta expression of enzymes or coproducts.
Biomass Physicochemical Analysis
  • Physicochemical characterization of biomass feedstocks and processing intermediates.
  • Improved methods for physical or compositional analysis of biomass materials.
  • Progress in high throughput and rapid analysis techniques for biomass.
Biomass Recalcitrance
  • Fundamentals and biophysical origins of biomass recalcitrance.
  • Understanding plant cell wall structure and composition.
  • Improvements in cost-effective deconstruction of biomass.

Topic Area 2 - Conversion Technologies


Biomass Pretreatment and Fractionation
  • Developments in chemical and biochemical pretreatment or fractionation processes to improve biochemical conversion.
  • Progress improving existing pretreatment/fractionation technologies
  • Advances in new pretreatment/fractionation approaches, including ionic liquids
Microbial Science and Technology
  • Development of new or improved microorganisms for biorefining applications.
  • Cellular and molecular biology of fungal systems.
  • Anaerobic transformation of biomass by microbes or microbial communities.
  • Biotechnologies to improve microorganisms for the production of fuels other than ethanol and butanol.
Enzyme Science and Technology
  • Discovery, characterization, and improvement of enzymes for biomass.
  • Application of enzymes to biorefinery processes.
  • Progress on cost reduction of enzymes for biorefining
  • Advances in the molecular level understanding of enzyme mechanisms (theoretical or experimental).
Bioprocessing and Separations Technology
  • Advances in the development, testing, integration and demonstration of bioconversion processes at various stages of process scale up (bench through pilot an larger scales).
  • Improvements in biorefinery-related separations processes
  • Progress in in situ product or biocatalyst recovery

Topic Area 3 - Fuels and Chemicals Products (Production, Supply and Use)


Biofuels and Biorefinery Economics and Sustainability
  • Techno-economic evaluation of biorefinery operations
  • Life cycle assessment of renewable feedstock based biorefineries
  • Advances in understanding and measuring environmental sustainability for biorefineries, including considerations beyond energy efficiency such as land availability, soil quality and water use.
Emerging Biofuels and Chemicals
  • Biotechnologies for the production of liquid fuels and chemicals other than ethanol and butanol.
  • Progress in developing biochemical technologies to produce new fuels such as biogasoline and higher alcohols,
  • Advances in merging thermochemical processes with biological conversion, as well as new targets for biomass-derived chemicals.
Biorefinery Commercialization and Deployment
  • Progress in demonstrating and deploying advanced biofuels/biorefining technologies.
  • Alternative approaches for utilizing biomass for liquid fuels production.
  • Improvements to the efficiency of integrated biochemical cellulose conversion processes.