Category Archives: Environmental & Industrial

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From Pacific Rim Summit: Specialty Crops, Renewable Feedstocks & Sustainability

This panel on the second day of the Summit consisted of Richard Gustafson from the University of Washington, Gillian Madill, an independent consultant representing views of the environmental NGO community and John Sheehan, from the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. While Mr. Gustafson and Mr. Sheehan gave informative talks on lifecycle assessment modeling and sustainability issues, Ms. Madill lit up the room with her talk titled, “Environmental Concerns with Energy Biotechnologies.” Read More >

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BIO Pacific Rim Summit: Status of Cellulosic Ethanol Commercialization

Qteros, ZeaChem and Verenium presented updates on their efforts to bring three unique cellulosic ethanol processes to commercial status. Qteros CTO Kevin Gray described how the company’s Q Microbe™ (Clostridium phytofermentans) enables a single step (consolidated bioprocessing) conversion and fermentation process for fuels. This approach can save as much as 40 percent in production costs. Qteros is currently scaling its technology up for a 100 liter laboratory bioreactor. ZeaChem President and CEO Jim Imbler outlined Read More >

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Pacific Rim Summit — Biobutanol: Overcoming the Barriers

The biobutanol panel at the 2009 Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy had three dynamic speakers from the biobutanol industry: Pat Gruber, CEO of Gevo, Inc.; Jay Kouba, CEO of Tetravitae Bioscience and Rick Wilson, CEO of Cobalt Technologies. Besides the individual company presentations the conversation concentrated on technology, risk, barriers and financing on the path to commercialization. Jay Kouba related to the audience that the business plan with the best technology is Read More >

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International Developments in Algae Commercialization

The Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy hosted a webinar to discuss U.S. and Canadian government efforts to support commercial development of algae for biofuels, chemicals, pharmaceutical and food ingredients, and the long list of applications being considered. Valerie Reed of the U.S. Department of Energy, noted that the U.S. Economic Recovery Act provided $800 million for new and existing projects, with $480 million to be allocated to pilot- and demonstration-scale biorefineries that Read More >

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Wrong Question: Can Biofuels Be Carbon Friendly?

The Science Insider blog last week hosted an interesting debate between Tim Searchinger, Princeton visiting scholar, and John Sheehan, of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, regarding the recent policy proposal in the pages of Science by Searchinger et al. to “fix” the carbon accounting of biomass for bioenergy and biofuels in U.S. legislation and the successor to the Kyoto protocol, by giving credit only to biomass that can be managed Read More >

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