Photo: courtesy of

SPS '16 - Waste Valorization: Using Renewable Co-Products as Feedstocks

December 12-13, 2016

This conference will focus on pre-consumer waste by-products that constitute a largely yet-to-be utilized resource that can be turned into feedstock for the production of various value-added products. 

SPS'16 - Waste Valorization is chaired by Ramaswamy Nagarajan, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Libby Bernick, TruCost, and Debra Darby, Organix Solutions.

Conference Topics

  • Co-product availability and their utilization
    • Co-product and byproducts availability from agri- and aquacultural waste
    • Examples of successful conversion of waste into valueable products
  • Challenges in conversion of feedstock from a biochemical perspective
    • What are the major biochemical breakthroughs required for the cost-effective conversion of co-products?
    • Energy, cost considerations and co-products from biochemical transformations
    • Examples of successful processes
  • Co-product toxicity, toxics use reduction
    • Challenges in co-product disposal from a human and environmental toxicity perspective
  • Lifecycle Analysis
    • Lifecycle analysis (overall mass and energy balance considerations in waste valorization)

Featured Speakers

Libby Bernick

Libby manages Trucost’s North American business, leading the regional team responsible for Trucost’s programs for Financial Institutions and Corporates in North America, and is a member of Trucost’s global senior management team. She manages key accounts and is a strategic advisor to development banks, institutional asset owners, foundations, and multinational corporations. Areas of special interest include water-related risks for businesses and investors, carbon accounting in supply chains and portfolios, and quantifying how environmental risks and natural capital dependencies affect...Read more

Rachel Brenc

Rachel Brenc is a Senior Process Engineer at LanzaTech, a gas fermentation company that utilizes a proprietary microbe to convert waste gases to ethanol and other fuels and chemicals in a continuous process.  She is the lead process engineer on the design of a first of its kind commercial plant in China.

Rachel received her B.S.E. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Cornell University and currently resides in the Chicago area....Read more

Debra Darby

Debra Darby is program and marketing director with Organix Solutions, a company providing cost-effective and sustainable collection and treatment solutions to recover organic waste.  Formerly, she was the director of brand and marketing communications with Metabolix, a developer of bio-based polymers. She has managed an independent consultancy serving as key strategic advisor to clients.  She received a Master of Science degree in Work Environment and Cleaner Production from the University of Massachusetts Lowell....Read more

Bruce Dien

Bruce S. Dien

National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Bioenergy Research Unit, Peoria, IL 61604;


University of Minnesota          Chemical Engineering                    Ph.D.                  1994...Read more

Nina Goodrich

Nina Goodrich is Director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and Executive Director of GreenBlue. GreenBlue is dedicated to researching and promoting the principles of sustainable materials management that seek to help industry: use materials wisely, promote material health and recover more. She believes in the power of the circular economy to provide growth without waste.

Nina came to GreenBlue with an industry and consultancy background in R & D management, innovation and sustainability strategy. Nina believes that innovation and sustainability are linked as key drivers...Read more

Jonathan Krones

Jonathan Krones is postdoctoral associate at the Center for Industrial Ecology at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, working under the supervision of Professor Marian Chertow. His current work entails the use of innovative estimation methods to develop the first economy-wide estimate of non-hazardous industrial waste generation in the United States in over thirty years. He received a Ph.D. in Engineering Systems from MIT and a M.S. in Earth Resources Engineering from Columbia University.Read more

Lise Laurin

Lise Laurin, CEO of EarthShift Global, has been working since 2000 to support enterprises in their endeavor to reduce social and environmental impacts. With EarthShift Global, she has focused on Sustainability Return on Investment (S-ROI) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as tools for measuring sustainability. She is currently the driving force behind the LCA Capability Roadmap. She is a pioneer in S-ROI, having broadened the scope from the original Total Cost Assessment methodology to include benefits and impacts to society, and in particular how a decision can be adapted to be a win-win-...Read more

Molly Morse

Dr. Molly Morse is the CEO and co-founder of Mango Materials, a San Francisco Bay Area-based start-up company that uses methane gas to feed bacteria that manufacture a biopolymer. Molly received her Ph.D. in Civil & Environmental Engineering–with an emphasis on anaerobic biodegradation of biocomposites for the building industry–from Stanford University, and her B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University. Dr. Morse has contributed to multiple patents, publications and presentations.  Along with other Mango Materials team members, she is...Read more

Ramaswamy Nagarajan

Ramaswamy Nagarajan is an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and has a science and engineering background with bachelor degrees in chemistry and rubber technology and a doctoral degree in polymer science from the University Massachusetts. His research interest is in the development of “greener”/sustainable routes to advanced functional materials (polymers, additives and surfactants). Working at the interface of science and engineering his research group has been involved in translating fundamental research into engineering applications for advancing technology...Read more


Proceedings of the 2016 Sustainable Packaging Symposium are now available: