40th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals
The first Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals was held in 1978 and hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, TN). It was the first technical meeting focusing exclusively on the biotechnologically-‐mediated conversion of renewable feedstocks, especially lignocellulosic plant biomass, to fuels and chemicals. This annual meeting soon became large enough to be co-‐hosted by the predecessor of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, CO) and the Symposium’s location alternated yearly between Tennessee and Colorado. In 2008, SIMB began handling the logistics of the meeting and locations were expanded to include other states, with the Symposium being held in alternate years in the eastern or western United States. While many aspects of this meeting have changed since its inception, several features remain the same.
- The meeting remains focused on the latest technology in biotechnology for fuels and chemicals.
- The feedstock coverage has expanded beyond dedicated energy crops and agricultural and
forestry residues to include non-‐lignocellulosics, e.g., algae and carbon oxides.
- The broad topic areas remain largely the same, i.e., feedstocks, pretreatment/fractionation, biological conversion, bioprocessing integration, process techno-‐economics/commercialization/ sustainability, while varying special topics sessions cover new and cutting edge directions.
- There is a healthy split between oral (~100/year) and poster presentations (~350/year)
- The meeting is now Sunday through Wednesday, with daytime oral sessions and evening poster (Sunday and Monday) and special topics (Wednesday) sessions.
- A banquet is held on Tuesday evening where awards are presented to the best student posters as well as leading individual and organizational contributors who have advanced the field.