2017 AIChE NorCal June Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 6:00pm-9:00pm PDT
Event format: 
In-Person / Local
Posted by Nathan Hanna
5885 Hollis Street
Seminar Room 4132
Emeryville, CA 94608
United States

Program consists of:

  • Networking & Refreshments (6:00-6:30 pm)
  • Introductory Remarks by Todd Pray, Program head, AB-PDU (6:30-6:40 pm)
  • Eric Sundstrom talk & Q/A (6:40-7:10 pm)
  • Murthy Konda talk & Q/A (7:10-8:00 pm)
  • ABPDU Pilot plant tour (8:00-8:30 pm)

De-risking process scale-up for commercialization of novel biofuels, biochemicals, and biomaterials

Synopsis of the Presentation #1:

At the Advanced Biofuels (and Bioproducts) Process Demonstration Unit (ABPDU), we work with scientists from industry, academia, and non-profits to support product scale-up and commercialization goals. Over the past two years we've worked with over 30 companies, each with a unique product, and over a dozen different microbial production host organisms. Many nascent but promising technologies are not readily deployed in industrial environments -- not because of technology failure but due to lack of process robustness. Demonstrating process robustness in a dedicated pilot facility requires significant investment in labor and resources, creating a bottleneck in the flow of new technologies towards commercialization. By providing a flexible integrated pilot facility for technology demonstration, along with dedicated staff and a variety of DOE support mechanisms, ABPDU enables industrial and academic partners to de-risk emerging technologies with minimal up-front investment. In this talk, case studies from clients and collaborators will be used to highlight ABPDU contributions towards technology commercialization. These contributions will then be discussed within the context of the greater Bay Area biotechnology ecosystem.

Speaker Bio:

Eric Sundstrom is a Senior Process Engineer at the Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit (ABPDU) within Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Eric has extensive experience in bioprocess development from lab to demonstration scale, including heterotrophic, autotrophic, and phototrophic cultivation for production of biofuels, biomaterials, and biochemicals. Prior to joining ABPDU, he worked as Principal Research Engineer at Algae Systems LLC, where he directed research and development for algae cultivation and wastewater treatment at a 200,000L integrated demonstration plant. Eric holds a PhD in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University and an ME and BS in Environmental Engineering from Rice University.

Paving a path to a billion ton bioeconomy: Strategic and technoeconomic perspectives

Synopsis of the Presentation#2:

Lignocellulosic biomass is an abundant, renewable, and non-food source of carbon that could potentially be used for the production of fuels and chemicals that are currently derived from petroleum.

To tap into this potential, from a commercialization viewpoint, biomass-to-fuels/chemicals supply chain needs to compete with petroleum supply chain, that has been perfected for decades, on economic grounds. Leaving the policy related issues aside, this presentation will focus on the underlying scientific, engineering, economic aspects, as well as 'bridging the barriers', within the context of research, development, demonstration and deployment (RDD&D) of cellulosic biorefineries. Central focus will be on the need for accelerated development of carbon-, energy-, and water-efficient technologies. 

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Murthy Konda is currently working as a Biological Engineer Project Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Prior to joining Berkeley Lab in 2013, he worked at the US DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), and Imperial College London. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering. He has 15+ years of experience with a spectrum of Process Systems Engineering (PSE) skills such as modeling, design, optimization, and operation. Over the years, he has designed a suite of clean and green energy systems at different length and time scales, spanning from simple processes to large-scale nation-wide infrastructures. He has worked on various industrial manufacturing processes including biofuels, hydrogen fuel, clean power generation, carbon capture, petrochemicals, and gas purification. 


Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit (AB-PDU)

5885 Hollis Street, Seminar Room 4132 

Emeryville, CA 94608

AIChE Members: Free 

Non Members: $ 10.00  

Payment Options

Please RSVP to confirm your reservation as lab tour is only limited 50 participants 


Note: No open-toed shoes will be allowed for pilot plant tour

Contact: Akash Narani, Vice Chair, AIChE NorCal