The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will present a live webinar titled “Excellence in Bioenergy Innovation—A Presentation of 2015 R&D 100 Award Winning Projects” on Thursday, January 21, 2016 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The webinar will feature state-of-the-art research by Dr. Jianping Yu of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Douglas Elliott of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)—winners of 2015 R&D 100 Awards for breakthrough bioenergy advances.

Yu and his team at NREL took home a prize in the mechanical/materials category, as well as a R&D Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award for their process for producing ethylene—a valuable chemical precursor to plastics—from genetically engineered cyanobacteria. The cyanobacteria are able to use carbon dioxide and photosynthesis in brackish water to produce ethylene, resulting in a process that reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional ethylene from petroleum resources.

Elliott and his team at PNNL, along with Genifuel Corporation, received a prize in the processing/prototyping category for their hydrothermal process to convert wet biomass into biofuels. The novel process can turn many different wet biomass feedstocks, including algae, into biocrude oil in less than 60 minutes at a high yield and with low energy costs.

Both of these research and development projects were funded in part by the Bioenergy Technologies Office to bring cost-competitive, sustainable, and high-performance biofuels and bioproducts to the American public.