A group of biofuel experts led by Berkeley Lab took inspiration from an extraordinary antifungal molecule made by Streptomyces bacteria to develop a totally new type of fuel that has projected energy density greater than the most advanced heavy-duty fuels used today, including the rocket fuels used by NASA.
Biosciences Area staff recently hosted 40 PhD students from Wageningen University in the Netherlands over two days at Emery Station East (ESE) and the Integrative Genomics Building (IGB). The group launched their two-week California tour in the Bay Area, stopping by local biotechnology companies and prominent academic research institutions. The contingent visited ESE to tour the facility, make presentations, and discuss potential collaborations. At the IGB, the students attended a day-long symposium that included short talks, tours of several user facilities, and a poster reception.
In 2014, a friend passed along a link to an open administrator position with the Energy Technologies Area at Berkeley Lab. For Leah Freeman Sloan, working in a role that supports scientific research related to combating climate change seemed fulfilling on a personal level. And although she didn’t specialize in science, Sloan began to understand how her skills were essential to the program achieving its mission.
Ten years ago, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory announced the opening of a brand new, 15,000-square-foot facility full of stainless steel state-of-the-art bioprocessing equipment – what we now know as the Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Process Development Unit, or ABPDU, was officially open for business.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office, ABPDU set out to provide a boost to the development of advanced biofuels – renewable fuels that produce at least 50% less greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels. ABPDU’s facility would serve as an industry-scale proving ground for biofuel discoveries made at lab bench-scale.
A new course at the Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Process Development Unit (ABPDU) prepares UC Berkeley students for careers in biotech by giving them much-needed experience with bioprocessing equipment.