Grand Challenges in Sustainable Biofuels Production

Originally delivered Apr 22, 2009
  • Type:
    Archived Webinar
  • Level:
    Intermediate
  • Duration:
    1 hour
  • PDHs:
    1.00

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It is now clear that, for many reasons, corn has serious limitations as feedstock for biofuel production. While cellulosic biomass can potentially provide a sizable fraction of the US liquid fuel needs for transportation, current technologies must be further improved to realize cost-competitive processes for cellulosic biofuels. This presentation will discuss three major scientific and engineering challenges to this end. Identification of these challenges is based on an analysis of the biomass-to-biofuels value chain which allows assessment of present production costs as well as their sensitivity to changes at critical steps of the value chain. This exercise guides establishing of research priorities and also supports guarded optimism for the development of competitive processes for fuel production from renewable resources in the intermediate future.

Presenter(s): 

Gregory Stephanopoulos

Gregory N. Stephanopoulos is the 2016 AIChE President and the W. H. Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. After obtaining his chemical engineering doctorate at Univ. of Minnesota, he taught at Caltech before joining MIT in 1985. His research focuses on metabolic engineering — the engineering of microbes to convert them to chemical factories for the production of fuels and chemicals. He has co-authored or edited five books, including co-authoring the first textbook on Metabolic Engineering, 450 papers, 50 patents, and supervised more than 150 graduate students and post-docs. He is...Read more

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