Switching from a non-renewable fossil-based economy to a bioeconomy relying on biomass utilization is the challenging industrial revolution that humanity must achieve to address the needs of an ever-growing global population, while limiting global warming. Terrestrial and aquatic biomass offers a wide variety of valuable components such as lignins, (hemi)celluloses, other (poly)saccharides, proteins, secondary metabolites, that could be used for the production of biobased bulk, fine and specialty chemicals, polymers and transportation fuels. Biorefineries, which consist in the development of individual biomass process streams that convert primary biomass components into end products and the effective integration of these streams, are the core elements of the bioeconomy concept. This GRC will look at how scientists and engineers can overcome, through transdisciplinary approaches, the fundamental challenges that these biorefineries are facing today.
This GRC aims at gathering international experts in the following science and engineering activities to foster the development of sustainable biomass conversion process into valuable chemicals and materials: i) chemical/biological/mechanical strategies to deconstruct or fractionate lignocellulose and (micro)algae into individual biomass components, ii) increasing the selectivity and efficiency of chemical, biological or hybrid catalysts for biomass conversion technologies, iii) selective lignin conversions that provide narrow compositional ranges of aromatic and aliphatic building blocks; iv) selective polysaccharides conversion that provide building blocks and solvents; v) genetic engineer of plants to increase their susceptibility to deconstruction methods and as factories to produce natural and non-natural chemicals; vi) engineering microorganisms (molecular and synthetic biology) to access natural and non-natural building blocks or end products from biomass; vii) developing chemical/biological/mechanical sustainable processes that convert biomass-derived building blocks into end products (fine chemicals, functional additives, polymers/materials); and viii) designing cost-efficient processes for the extraction/purification of biomass components, building blocks and end products.
The conference will consist of nine sessions, on the topics listed below. The conference chair is currently developing their preliminary program, which will include the names of the invited speakers and discussion leaders for each of these sessions. The preliminary program will be available by August 30, 2020. Please check back for updates.
- Biorefinery and Bioeconomy Concepts
- Biorefinery Processes Applied to Terrestrial Biomass and Micro-Algae
- Lignin Upgrading
- Hemicellulose and Cellulose Upgrading
- Downstream Process and Process Intensification
- Biocatalysts and Heterogeneous Catalysts for Biomass Conversion
- Whole Cell and Plant-Based Chemicals/Materials Production Platform
- Biomass-Derived Sustainable Polymers and Materials
- Biomass-Derived Interfacial Chemicals and Green Solvents