Past Meetings and Workshops

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This page archives past meetings where Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) staff have participated and includes copies of the presentations shared at each event.

Visit the Bioenergy Upcoming Events page for information about our upcoming meetings.

Summit on Realizing the Circular Carbon Economy: Charting a Course for Innovations in Agriculture and Energy

On July 24-25, 2018, in Golden, Colorado, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory held the Summit on Realizing the Circular Carbon Economy: Charting a Course for Innovations in Agriculture and Energy. This event aimed to consider the challenges, opportunities, and needs involved in realizing a Circular Carbon Economy. For more information and presentations, see the workshop web page.

Advanced Algal Systems Listening Session

On June 13, BETO hosted the Advanced Algal Systems Listening Session in Seattle, Washington. BETO sought feedback from experts in algal biology, cultivation, and conversion on how to address near-term research and development barriers and opportunities for cost-competitive algal biofuels and bioproducts. The agenda focused on opportunities and challenges in integrating algal productivity and biomass yield improvements in scalable algae cultivation systems to achieve high yields. For more information and presentations, see the workshop web page.

Advanced Development and Optimization Workshop

On Dec. 12–13, 2017, BETO hosted the Advanced Development and Optimization (ADO) Workshop in Golden, Colorado. BETO’s mission is focused on earlier development-cycle opportunities. BETO used this workshop to seek feedback on how the new ADO Program can best serve our stakeholders in the bioenergy industry, as well as to raise awareness of existing assets from past investments and discuss future needs and opportunities for maximizing their value. For more information, see the workshop web page and workshop presentations.

Cell-Free Synthetic Biology and Biocatalysis Listening Day

On July 30, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) sponsored the Cell-Free Synthetic Biology and Biocatalysis Listening Day in Denver, Colorado. This event aimed to investigate how cell-free biocatalysis and cell-free synthetic biology may serve to advance the emerging bioeconomy. For more information, see the workshop web page and workshop presentations.

Engineered Carbon Reduction Listening Day: Advanced Strategies to Bypass Land Use for the Emerging Bioeconomy

On July 8, 2017, BETO sponsored the Engineered Carbon Reduction Listening Day: Advanced Strategies to Bypass Land Use for the Emerging Bioeconomy in La Jolla, California. This event aimed to explore non-photosynthetic carbon dioxide–reduction technologies, including electrocatalytic, thermocatalytic, photocatalytic, and biocatalytic approaches. For more information, see the workshop web page and workshop presentations.

Biofuels and Bioproducts from Wet and Gaseous Waste Streams: Market Barriers and Opportunities Workshop 

On June 6–7, 2017, BETO sponsored a workshop to advance the understanding of current market barriers and opportunities for increasing the deployment of biofuels and bioproducts manufactured from wet and gaseous waste streams. This continued BETO’s efforts in supporting emerging waste-to-energy technologies. The event had a strong pragmatic emphasis, with a focus on tangible challenges and potential solutions in facilitating market success for innovative, cost-effective solutions in the waste-to-energy platform. Participants included feedstock providers, technology developers, potential customers, and relevant state actors. For more information, see the workshop web page and workshop presentations.

Workshop on Moving beyond Drop-In Replacements: Performance Advantaged Biobased Chemicals

On June 1, 2017, BETO sponsored a workshop to seek stakeholder feedback on research and development for novel biobased compounds. The discussion was restricted to polymers, including biopolymers and polymers from novel monomers; small molecules like plasticizers, solvents, surfactants, and preservatives; and other building block chemicals. Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical targets were not of interest. For more information, see the workshop web page.

Algae Cultivation for Carbon Capture and Utilization Workshop

BETO hosted the Algae Cultivation for Carbon Capture and Utilization Workshop on May 23–24, 2017, in Orlando, Florida. The event gathered stakeholder input through facilitated discussions focused on innovative technologies and business strategies for growing algae on waste carbon dioxide (CO2) resources. Participant input will help inform DOE strategies for leveraging these technologies to realize affordable, scalable, and sustainable production biofuels and bioproducts made from algae. For more information, see the workshop web page.

Co-Optima Stakeholder Listening Day

On Jan. 19–20, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office, Vehicle Technologies Office, and the National Laboratory Co-Optima Team, will host a stakeholder listening day for the Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative. The Co-Optima Stakeholder Listening Day will provide technical status updates to stakeholders and request targeted feedback on specific technical deliverables that will inform research and development priorities. Attendees will contribute input on the draft multi-year strategic plan, as well as the challenges and opportunities related to co-optimization of fuels and engines. For more information, see the Co-Optima Stakeholder Listening Day event page.

Biorefinery Optimization Workshop

BETO hosted the Biorefinery Optimization Workshop on October 5–6, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The workshop helped to advance understanding of the current capabilities, barriers, and opportunities for integrated biorefineries working to produce biofuels, biochemicals, and bioproducts. Breakout sessions discussed the following topics: key technical and economic challenges facing feedstocks and solids handling processes; efforts in process intensification, scale-up, and CapEx/OpEx reduction; and product and waste stream monetization. For more information, see the Biorefinery Optimization Workshop page and workshop presentations.

Alternative Aviation Fuel Workshop

BETO hosted the Alternative Aviation Fuel Workshop on September 14–15, 2016, in Macon, Georgia, to advance the understanding of current technical barriers for increasing the competitiveness of aviation biofuels. The aviation industry faces significant challenges to maintain growth while enhancing environmental sustainability. Alternative energy systems such as batteries, fuel cells, and natural gas are options for on-road, off-road, and marine engine applications, but these alternative fuels are not yet practical for aviation. Biobased jet fuels present a tremendous opportunity to support a transition away from fossil fuels towards sustainably produced aviation fuel. For more information, see the Alternative Aviation Fuel Workshop page and workshop presentations.

Sharpening Our Tools: Algal Biology Toolbox Workshop

BETO hosted the Algal Biology Toolbox Workshop on May 24–25, 2016, in San Diego, California. Because biological productivity is a key driver for the economic viability of algae-based biofuels, improving on the performance of native strains is a critical element of the research efforts funded by BETO’s Advanced Algal Systems Program. Attendees reviewed the tools and resources available to grow, monitor, valorize, and genetically enhance algae for biofuel production and will help inform a strategy for leveraging these tools to realize a future where algae-based biofuels and bioproducts contribute significantly to the U.S. bioeconomy. Visit the workshop page for more information.

Agile Biomanufacturing Industry Listening Workshop

A consortium of nine national laboratories held the Agile Biomanufacturing Industry Listening Workshop on March 15, 2016 in Berkeley, California, to increase understanding of industry needs around synthetic biology. 

U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories have developed deep and unique capabilities to build powerful infrastructure and scientific engineering activities. This consortium seeks to develop an agile biomanufacturing platform that uses synthetic biology tools to rapidly engineer industrially relevant organisms for fuel and chemical production. This platform would incorporate state-of-the-art software used in combination with high-throughput laboratory equipment, accelerating the development of advanced biofuels, as well as renewable chemicals and materials. The platform will enable companies, national laboratories, and universities to develop biological processes efficiently and with reduced risk, and to create bio-derived products with better performance than their petroleum-derived predecessors. Visit the workshop page for more information.

Bioproducts to Enable Biofuels Workshop

The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) hosted the one-day Bioproducts to Enable Biofuels Workshop on July 16, 2015, in Denver, Colorado. BETO collected information from key industry, university, and national laboratory stakeholders regarding the challenges associated with the coproduction of biomass-derived chemicals and products alongside biofuels. For more information, see the Bioproducts to Enable Biofuels Workshop Web page

Co-Optima Stakeholder Listening Day

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) co-hosted a stakeholder Listening Day on June 16–17, 2015, in Golden, Colorado, to help shape a major new Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sustainable Transportation initiative: Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines (Co-Optima). In this multi-year initiative, a team of national laboratories will, with guidance from industry and other important stakeholders, work to accelerate the concurrent development of advanced fuels and engines that are economically viable, environmentally sustainable, and commercially scalable. As envisioned, Co-Optima is poised to set the stage for a rapid transition to advanced fuels and propulsion systems for every vehicle on the road. To help ensure the success of this ambitious initiative, BETO and VTO designed the Listening Day to obtain guidance from diverse stakeholders. The event provided participants an opportunity to influence the key components of Co-Optima; identify potential barriers to its success; and gain an early stake in Co-Optima goals, timelines, and technical paths relevant to their areas of interest. Open discussion and use of Web-based tools allowed attendees to contribute comprehensive feedback on draft project plans—and provide critical information to DOE and the national labs. For more information, see the Co-Optima Stakeholder Listening Day Web page

Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Sequestration Workshop

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Bioenergy Technologies Office co-hosted the  Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Sequestration (BECCS) Workshop on Monday, May 18, 2015, in Washington, D.C. The workshop brought together experts in bioenergy, power generation, and transmission and distribution infrastructure from industry, academia, nonprofits, government, and national laboratories to discuss low-carbon and carbon-negative power systems and the use of biomass in power generation to achieve lower greenhouse gas emissions in a sustainable manner. For more information, see the BECCS Workshop Web page.

Workshop on Energy-Positive Water Resource Recovery 

The National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Energy jointly hosted the Workshop on Energy-Positive Water Resource Recovery on April 28–29, 2015, in Arlington, Virginia, to gain insights and identify specific technical and non-technical barriers that are hindering development and deployment of the water resource recovery facilities of the future. Topics included the role of the federal government, non-technical considerations like policy and financing, and systems perspective and sustainability. For more information, see the Workshop on Energy-Positive Water Resource Recovery Report and workshop presentations.

Hydrogen, Hydrocarbons, and Bioproduct Precursors from Wastewaters Workshop

The Hydrogen, Hydrocarbons, and Bioproduct Precursors from Wastewaters Workshop was held March 18–19, 2015, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Washington D.C. offices. Sponsored by the DOE's Bioenergy and Fuel Cell Technologies Offices, the workshop gathered 30 experts from academia, government, and industry to share information and identify the current status and potential research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) possibilities for production of hydrogen and higher hydrocarbons (containing four or more carbon molecules) from wastewaters using biological, biochemical, and other techniques. For more information, see the Hydrogen, Hydrocarbons, and Bioproduct Precursors from Wastewaters Workshop Web page

Advanced Supply System Validation Workshop

The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) held the Advanced Supply System Validation Workshop on February 3-4, 2015, in Golden, Colorado. The purpose of the workshop was to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to examine, discuss, and validate analysis assumptions used to move beyond current feedstock supply systems designed to support the agriculture and forestry industries. Participants discussed assumptions relating to volume and transportation logistics, biomass quality, and operational risks. For more information, see the Advanced Supply System Validation Workshop Web page.

Green Lands Blue Water 2014 Fall Conference

The Green Lands Blue Water 2014 Fall Conference was held from November 19–20, 2014, at the Richland Community College in Decatur, Illinois. The event focused on bioenergy and sustainable agriculture and explored topics ranging from logistics, energy conversion technologies, and markets for grass biomass. The presentation given by the Bioenergy Technologies Office is posted below:

Waste to Energy Roadmapping Workshop

The Waste to Energy Roadmapping Workshop was held on November 5, 2014, in Arlington, Virginia. This workshop gathered waste-to-energy experts to identify the key technical barriers to the commercial deployment of liquid transportation fuels from wet waste feedstocks. For more information, see the Waste to Energy Roadmapping Workshop Web page.

Process Integration and Carbon Efficiency Workshop

The Process Integration and Carbon Efficiency Workshop was held on June 11–12, 2014 in Lakewood, Colorado. This workshop explored advances in biological and chemical conversion of lignocellulosic feedstocks to biofuels and bioproducts. For more information, see the Process Integration and Carbon Efficiency Workshop Web page

Bio-Oil Co-Processing:  Expanding the Refinery Supply System Workshop

The Bio-Oil Co-Processing: Expanding the Refinery Supply System Workshop was held on April 3, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana. This workshop explored the potential to partner renewable technologies with conventional petroleum refining by considering biomass-derived oils as an additional feedstock. For more information, see the Bio-Oil Co-Processing Workshop Web Page.

Algal Biofuels Spring Strategy Workshop

The Algal Biofuels Strategy Workshop was held March 26–27, 2014, in Charleston, South Carolina. This workshop focused on research and developments needed to achieve renewable algae-based biofuels. For more information, see the Algal Biofuels Workshop Web page.

Biomass Indirect Liquefaction Workshop

To support research and development planning efforts within the Thermochemical Conversion Program, the Bioenergy Technologies Office hosted the Biomass Indirect Liquefaction (IDL) Workshop on March 20–21, 2014, in Golden, Colorado. For more information, see the Biomass Indirect Liquefaction Workshop Web page.

Demonstration and Deployment Strategy Workshop

The Demonstration and Deployment Strategy Workshop was held on March 12–13, 2014, at Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Photon Source conference center outside of Chicago, Illinois. This workshop discussed, reassessed, and prioritized demonstration and deployment efforts needed for the production of affordable, scalable, and sustainable drop-in hydrocarbons. For more information, see the Demonstration and Deployment Strategy Workshop Web page.

Incorporating Bioenergy in Sustainable Landscape Design Workshop

The Bioenergy Technologies Office hosted two workshops on Incorporating Bioenergy into Sustainable Landscape Designs with Oak Ridge and Argonne National Laboratories. The first workshop focused on forestry landscapes and was held in New Bern, North Carolina, from March 4–6, 2014. The second workshop focused on agricultural landscapes and was held in Argonne, Illinois, from June 24–26, 2014. Landscape design offers a promising means for sustainably increasing bioenergy production while maintaining or enhancing other ecosystem services. The workshops convened multi-disciplinary experts to discuss how landscape design can assist in the deployment and assessment of sustainable bioenergy, and how to move forward in a manner that best serves industry, decision makers, and producers, while achieving environmental goals. For more information and to view the first workshop summary report, see the Incorporating Bioenergy in Sustainable Landscape Design Workshop Web page on the Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework.

Natural Gas-Biomass to Liquids Workshop

The Department of Energy's (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office, in coordination with the Office of Fossil Energy and the National Energy Technology Laboratory, hosted a workshop on September 3, 2013, on Natural Gas-Biomass to Liquids (GBTL) research needs and technology options. Biomass conversion processes, particularly thermochemical routes to hydrocarbons, already utilize natural gas for process heat and for hydrotreating (to remove excess oxygen) and hydrocracking (to create hydrocarbons of the appropriate chain length to meet the specifications for jet, gasoline, and diesel fuels). The recent development of the increased availability and low cost of natural gas has created opportunities to consider the use of natural gas as a feedstock for conversion into liquid hydrocarbons.

DOE is interested in understanding how the use of natural gas and biomass may be optimized and integrated into a conversion process to liquid fuels. The objective of this workshop was to obtain input from industry, academia, research establishments, and other experts on whether there is a role for DOE to conduct research and development and develop new process technologies. As a preliminary effort, the workshop explored the production of liquid transportation fuels from natural gas and biomass feedstocks, concentrating on two main tracks: technical barriers, and greenhouse gas emissions and resource potential.

The one-day workshop was held in Chicago, Illinois, and was a pre-conference event in conjunction with tcbiomass2013. Additional information from the event can be found below. Results from the workshop and information about a follow-up webinar will be posted to this page soon.

View some of the additional materials from the workshop:

Symbiosis Conference: Expanding Commercialization of Mutualistic Microbes to Increase Bioenergy Crop Production

The Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office hosted a conference on expanding commercialization of products incorporating mutualistic microbes in order to increase biomass production. The conference was held on June 20–21, 2013, at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The workshop contained topical sessions and breakout discussion groups focused on commercialization, including barriers and successes; systems biology and models; and policy and sustainability. Information from the Conference is posted below:

Renewable Low-Cost Carbon Fiber for Lightweight Vehicles Workshop

The Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office, in coordination with the Advanced Manufacturing and Vehicle Technologies Offices, hosted a workshop on the use of renewable, low-cost carbon fiber for lightweight vehicles on June 4–5, 2013. The workshop highlighted joint efforts to support end-to-end technology development for an enhanced domestic supply chain for low-cost carbon fiber. Information from the workshop is posted below:

The 78th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference

The 78th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference was held in Arlington, Virginia, on March 25-30, 2013. The event featured discussion of conservation, enhancement, and management of North American wildlife and natural resources. The summit was attended by government agencies, private sector representatives, and industry stakeholders. The presentation given by the Bioenergy Technologies Office is posted below:

The Third Annual Municipal Solid Waste to Biofuels & Bio-Products Summit

The Third Annual Municipal Solid Waste to Biofuels & Bio-Products Summit was held in Orlando, Florida, on February 20-21, 2013. The event featured discussion of technology commercialization, project economics, development, and operations, as well as financial investment strategies. The summit was attended by government agencies, private sector representatives, and industry stakeholders. The presentation given by the Bioenergy Technologies Office is posted below:

Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative's Sustainable Alternative Fuels Cost Workshop

On November 27, 2012, the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), in conjunction with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Energy, hosted a stakeholder workshop to benchmark the cost of producing sustainable bio-based jet-fuel processes. The event was held in advance of the 2012 CAAFI Research & Development Team Workshop on November 28–29. A white paper will be published on the CAAFI Sustainable Alternative Fuels Cost Workshop, featuring the technologies and approaches for producing biofuels that are of interest to the aviation sector.

The agenda, a roster of the participants, and presentations from the Workshop are posted below:

The National Institute of Standards and Technology Biofuels Standards Conference

The National Institute of Standards and Technology hosted the Biofuels Standards Conference in Gaithersburg, Maryland, from November 13–15, 2012. The conference was organized in conjunction with the Brazilian National Institute of Metrology, Quality, and Technology and the European Commission"s Directorate General – Energy to provide a forum for discussion on the following: documentary and measurement standards and technologies for biofuels; state-of-the-art biofuels production and trade; applications in surface transportation and aviation; and future trends that may require new biofuels standards. Experts from industry, academia, and government, as well as the U.S. national laboratories, attended the event. The presentation given by the Bioenergy Technologies Office is posted below:

Global Bioenergy Partnership Capacity-Building Workshop on Biomass Resource Assessment

The Global Bioenergy Partnership Economic Commission of West African State Capacity Building Workshop on Biomass Resource Assessment was held November 13–14, 2012, in Rome, Italy. The event's goal was to educate and train members from Western Africa countries to complete a biomass assessment. The Bioenergy Technologies Office participated by sharing the methodology used in the biomass assessment of the U.S. Billion-Ton Update and participating in the discussion of strategies for biomass assessments in Western Africa. The presentation given on behalf of the Bioenergy Technologies Office is posted below:

Aviation Biofuels Development Conference

The Aviation Biofuels Development Conference was held in Washington, D.C., on October 2, 2012. The conference focused on industry challenges faced in the alternative aviation fuel market. The Bioenergy Technologies Office participated by providing a presentation on the economics of alternative aviation fuels. More than 200 leaders and pioneers from the industry, as well as executives from aviation, aerospace, biofuels, and regulatory arenas, attended the event. The presentation given by the Bioenergy Technologies Office is posted below:

Algae Biomass Summit

From September 24–27, 2012, the Algae Biomass Organization hosted its sixth annual Algae Biomass Summit, the largest conference of algal biomass stakeholders in the world. The summit was attended by more than 800 industry leaders, government representatives, and university and laboratory researchers—representing 25 different countries. Plenary and breakout sessions concentrated on four key topic areas: biology; commercialization; finance and policy; and engineering and analysis. The goal of the sessions was to identify and resolve barriers to competitive algae biomass production. The presentation given by the Bioenergy Technologies Office is posted below:

Advanced Biofuels Industry Roundtable

On May 18, 2012, the United States Department of Navy, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration, hosted an Industry Roundtable with the full complement of participants in the biofuels supply chain. The purpose of the roundtable meeting was for the federal government to present further details on the partnership among the U.S. Department of Navy, U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Department of Agriculture to construct or retrofit multiple commercial-scale advanced biorefineries.

The agenda for the roundtable, a roster of the participants, and presentations are posted below:

Technical Information Exchange on Pyrolysis Oil Workshop

On May 9–10, 2012, the Bioenergy Technologies Office conducted a Technical Information Exchange Workshop to solicit inputs on the opportunities and challenges associated with the development and deployment of biomass derived home heating oil products for U.S. markets. The workshop featured presentations by technical experts from industry, academia, national laboratories, and government, and it facilitated discussions of technical and economic challenges, as well as research, development, and demonstration priorities. The workshop generated a wealth of information and ideas, and the Program will use the workshop results to inform its strategic planning and prioritizing of future research and development on pyrolysis oil.

Approximately 8 million households in the United States heat with oil; 6.2 million (about 78%) are located in the Northeast. Given this high reliance on fuel oil for residential heating, an affordable alternative would be particularly beneficial to this region. Pyrolysis oil derived from domestic biomass has been identified as one of the most promising alternatives for this market. However, we must overcome significant challenges to reliably produce an ample supply of pyrolysis oil that has the characteristics required for it to be a viable substitute for traditional heating oil.

Below are the agenda and presentations from this two-day meeting:

In February 2013, the Bioenergy Technologies Office published a full report on the results of this workshop: