(146d) The US Doe's Abpdu: Enabling Commercialization in the Bioeconomy through Rapid Process Prototyping and Piloting

Authors: 
Narani, A., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Sun, N., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Tanjore, D., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Pray, T., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
The Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Process Development Unit (ABPDU) was established in 2009 and commissioned in 2012 at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory by the US Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office. The ABPDU’s mission is to optimize and scale up biomass-based conversion technologies in collaboration with partners and collaborators from industry, other National Labs, and academic research institutions. Recently, the ABPDU’s focus has included the production of not just biofuels like alcohols and hydrocarbons but also bio-based chemicals and materials such as commodities, specialties, biogels, and plastics; as well as proteins such as industrial enzymes and food and feed ingredients. To date the ABPDU, located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, has partnered with more than 30 companies. This paper will focus on some of the success stories from our industrial collaborations, where our corporate partners have gone on to launch products, attract private capital investment, receive Federal funding, and develop technology transfer packages for larger scale demonstration and commercial production based on our work with them. A key element of the ABPDU’s collaborations with our partners is the approach to rapidly, safely, and robustly execute novel processes from a variety of feedstocks using distinct and custom unit operation configurations. This includes optimizing not just the core fermentation or chemical process technologies, but also any required upstream and downstream separations, purification, and polishing steps. To achieve this the ABPDU performs process hazard reviews prior to project start and ensures team training and equipment readiness are up-to-date. Project management, analytical chemistry, scale-up / scale-down trials, and techno-economic modeling underpin these successes, and allow the team to rapidly develop and de-risk the next generation of bioproduct technologies.