Scientists at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) are collaborating with X – the moonshot incubator led by Google parent company Alphabet – to not only skip the problematic plastic separation step, but also make the final product better for the planet.
Gas fermentation, a process in which microorganisms convert waste gases into commodity chemicals, has the potential to inexpensively manufacture sustainable bio-based materials and fuels to help create a circular bioeconomy. In response to industry requests, ABPDU has purchased, installed, and commissioned gas fermentation equipment with internal Berkeley Lab funding. This capability now enables ABPDU’s industrial collaborators to pursue process development and scale-up projects involving the bioconversion of gaseous feedstocks.
The ABPDU’s Scale-Up Facilities Expo took place on Aug. 7, 2023, bringing together scale-up facilities and startup researchers. The all-day event saw 249 attendees from 29 countries attend 32 facility presentations, giving them the opportunity to learn about a variety of scale-up capabilities beyond those available at the ABPDU.
The Bioprocessing Separations Consortium, originally established in 2016 by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and led by Argonne National Laboratory, recently received a three year funding renewal to continue advancing separations technologies critical to converting biomass to low-carbon biofuel. The Biosciences Area’s Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Process Development Unit (ABPDU) represents Berkeley Lab as a partner in the consortium.
As part of a newly established collaborative, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will co-lead an effort to establish a bioindustrial manufacturing capability in California’s Northern San Joaquin Valley.