On July 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) sponsored the Engineered Carbon Reduction Listening Day: Advanced Strategies to Bypass Land Use for the Emerging Bioeconomy in La Jolla, California. This event explored non-photosynthetic carbon dioxide–reduction technologies, including electrocatalytic, thermocatalytic, photocatalytic, and biocatalytic approaches. 

Input was sought from experts representing industry, academia, and national laboratories on the state of these technologies and their implications for enabling enhanced carbon cycling, offering land-sparing organic feedstock for the advanced bioeconomy, and creating tools that leverage renewable power to manage carbon and create advanced bioproduct pathways for new economic opportunities.  

BETO has a strong conversion technology portfolio that can effectively upgrade carbon monoxide or simple organic molecules to a broad array of valuable chemicals, products, or fuels, but renewable feedstocks have been largely limited to terrestrial biomass and associated intermediates. This listening day supported BETO's efforts to broaden its potential feedstock portfolio; explore sustainable carbon utilization strategies; and leverage conversion technologies and platforms to produce fuels, chemicals, materials, and other biobased products. 

This workshop advanced the DOE mission by exploring investment and research opportunities to improve the efficiency of existing power generation and employing emerging technology with potentially significant implications. The results will be published in a publicly available report with an objective of informing both public- and private-sector planning in the future.

Event Details

July 8, 2017
Price Center at University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093

Summary Report

BETO has summarized stakeholder input from the listening day in a report titled Rewiring the Carbon Economy: Engineered Carbon Reduction Listening Day Summary Report.

Note: This report summarizes the results of a public workshop sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The views and opinions of the workshop attendees, as summarized in this document, do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. government or any corresponding agency

Contact Us

For more information about the Engineered Carbon Reduction Listening Day, please contact David Babson.


To view presentations from the workshop, visit the workshop presentations web page.


View the list of confirmed speakers for the Engineered Carbon Reduction Listening Day.


Start Time End Time Activity
8:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m. Breakfast
Welcome and Listening Day Overview
9:00 a.m. 9:10 a.m. David Babson, Technology Manager, BETO
9:10 a.m. 9:45 a.m. Mich Hein, CEO, Electrochaea LLC
Charging the Gas Grid with Solar and Wind Energy: From the Fat Duck to Green Gas
9:45 a.m. 10:20 a.m. Harry Atwater, Editor in Chief, ACS Photonics
Artificial Photosynthesis: The Selective CO2 Reduction Challenge
10:20 a.m. 10:40 a.m. Coffee Break
10:40 a.m. 12:20 p.m. Panel Discussion: Re-Imagining the Carbon Cycle without Photosynthesis
Moderator: Stephen Mayfield
10:40 a.m. 11:00 a.m. Stephen Mayfield, Professor, University of California, San Diego,
Co-Director, Food & Fuel for the 21st Century
Director, California Center for Algae Biotechnology
11:00 a.m. 11:20 a.m. Anthony Martino, Senior Scientist, Sandia National Laboratories
Sunshine to Petrol: Reimagining Transportation Fuels
11:20 a.m. 11:40 a.m. Kendra Kuhl, Opus12
Recycling Carbon Dioxide through PEM Electrolysis
11:40 a.m. 12:00 p.m. William Tumas, Associate Lab Director of Materials and Chemical Science Technology, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Research Challenges for Non-Photosynthetic Solar Fuels Production
12:00 p.m. 12:20 p.m. Dan Nocera, Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy, Harvard University
Food and Fuel from Sunlight, Air, and Water
12:20 p.m. 2:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00 p.m. 2:30 p.m. Harold May, Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina
Reduction of CO2 by Microbial Electrosynthesis for the Production of Fuels and Chemicals
2:30 p.m. 2:50 p.m. Jeffery Gralnick, Professor, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, Biotechnology Institute at the University of Minnesota
Driving Microbial Metabolism with Electricity: Challenges and Opportunities in Electrosynthesis
2:50 p.m. 3:00 p.m. Thank you and Closing, BETO
3:00 p.m. 3:15 p.m. Coffee Break
3:15 p.m. 6:00 p.m. BETO Breakout Sessions (invite only)