BIO 2013 Pacific Rim Summit Ends with a Look at Natural Gas

This year marked the first time in the event’s eight year history that it was held in California. With 400 attendees present, BIO’s 2013 Pacific Rim Summit had a record number of exhibitors, poster presenters, and media present. BIO concluded its summit with a robust plenary titled, The Golden Age of Gas, moderated by Jonathan Burbaum, Program Director at ARPA-E, panelists consisted of the Laurel Harmon, VP of Government Relations, Lanzatech, Alan Shaw, Chairman of the Board, President & CEO, Calysta and Mark Herrema, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Newlight Technologies.

Each panelist provided a unique perspective on the natural gas industry working to usurp petroleum as the primary source of fuel. Elevance introduced the panel by discussing how 2013 has represented a shift from possibility and potential to actual production.  Renewable chemicals are no longer just an idea but a real cleaner, greener alternative to petroleum. Mr. Burbaum of ARPA-E explained how the agency intends to change the energy landscape of the country by transcending science and turning waste into opportunity.

Using flue gas from heavy polluting facilities like still mills, LanzaTech has the capability to convert this type of feedstock into chemicals and fuels, increasing efficiency of carbon capture. Explaining how to obtain true sustainability, Alan Shaw of Calysta argued that the technology of industrial biotech needs a solid infrastructure in order to truly flourish.  Lastly, rounding off the panel, Mark Herrema of Newlight discussed how the key to his companies’ technology, converting methane to PHA, is an order of magnitude yield improvement over previous technologies.

Sessions for day three of the Pacific Rim Summit included Oilseed Derived Feedstocks – Can they compete with Petroleum?, Innovation in Renewable Chemical Platforms, Advances in Aviation Biofuels, Techno-economic and Physical Analysis for Microalgae Growth and Microbial Synthetic Pathways to Renewable Chemicals and Biofuels.

Particularly, the Advances in Aviation, moderated by Michael Vevera of Mercurius Biofuels, made attendees aware of the importance of biofuels to the field of aviation.  Mercurius elaborated on its REACH technology which produces cellulosic fuels in less time, with feedstock flexibility, and that easily matches the performance of petroleum products.  Alaska Airlines showcased how the company has partnered with biofuel producers so that its planes do not have to be retrofitted to accept the fuel but rather produce fuel so that it can be easily dropped in. Lastly, the FAA Center for Excellence discussed how aviation impacts noise, air quality, water quality and the environment, all factors according to the FAA can be improved through the use of biofuels. He concluded by stressing that without a sustainable source of energy, the aviation industry will gradually dissolve.

We hope that you will join us at our 2014 World Congress, scheduled for Monday, May 12th to Thursday, May 15th. BIO’s 2014 World Congress will be located in Philadelphia, PA at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Please check out the conference fact sheet!   

BIO 2013 Pacific Rim Summit in the Media

Biofuels Digest December 10, 2013 The Bio-Buzz: Heard on the Floor at Bio Pac Rim

As the industrial biotechnology industry descends on the city where it can be safely said to have a home-court advantage, here’s what’s got people buzzing at BIO’s Pac Rim annual Summit.

Biofuels Digest (December 11, 2013) Buzzing at BIO’s Pac Rim: The industry chatter

While the parade of presentations, posters and keynote addresses went on in the main hall and the breakout rooms – as usual, in the hallways, over coffees or drinks, there was often a completely different set of subjects on the minds of delegates.

Biofuels Digest (December 11, 2013) USDA, US Navy unveil Farm to Fleet program: Navy “open for business” as shift to biofuels blends begins

In Washington, US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus unveiled the “Farm to Fleet” program, through which the Navy will begin to add biofuels into its regular domestic purchases of approximately 77 million gallons of jet fuel (JP-5) and marine diesel (F-76) each year.

U-T San Diego (December 10, 2013) Biofuels industry struggles with economic, political climate

Companies developing renewable fuels and chemicals face extraordinary political uncertainty in getting the government to support their needs, said speakers at a San Diego conference on industrial biotechnology.

This year’s Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy took place from December 8-11, 2013 at the Westin Gaslamp Hotel located in San Diego, California.  It was co-organized with biocom.

The Pacific Rim Summit is the original conference dedicated solely to the growth of the industrial biotechnology and bioenergy sectors in North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Industrial biotech covers the application of biobased tools to traditional industrial processes and the manufacturing of biobased products including fuels, chemicals and plastics from renewable feedstocks. The evolution of our ability to manipulate microbial genomes has revolutionized the field of biotechnology and produced a rapid increase in innovation for industrial uses.

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