Emerging Technologies in Clean Energy Keynote Address

Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 5:00pm-6:30pm CDT

"New Learning Curves for Industrial Biotechnology: Liquid Fuels from Bioconversion of Methane and Bioelectrosynthesis"

Presented by Ramon Gonzalez, Program Director, Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E), U.S. Department of Energy

Biological systems are capable of performing many useful functions with applications in energy and chemical production. However, their full potential remains unrealized due to critical gaps in our ability to engineer and control them. Two programs at the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) address such critical gaps by engineering microbial systems for the production of liquid fuels and will be discussed in detail in my talk. The REMOTE program, whose acronym stands for Reducing Emissions using Methanotrophic Organisms for Transportation Energy, is a first-of-its-kind program that focuses on the development of advanced bioconversion technologies to produce liquid transportation fuels from methane, the main component of natural gas. The Electrofuels program, on the other hand, focuses on the development of non-photosynthetic autotrophic organisms for the conversion of CO2 and electricity to infrastructure-compatible liquid fuels.

Ramon Gonzalez, Ph.D.

Dr. Ramon Gonzalez is a Program Director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) of the U.S. Department of Energy. His areas of technical focus include biological conversion of natural gas and other sources of methane to liquid fuels as well as direct synthesis of liquid fuels from carbon dioxide and energy sources (such as electricity and hydrogen). Dr. Gonzalez is also an Associate Professor in the Departments of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Bioengineering at Rice University, where he leads the...