Beyond Biofuels: Berkeley Lab Facility a Catalyst for Broader Bio-based Economy

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When a Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Advanced Biofuels Process Development Unit (ABPDU) during Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) commenced operations in 2012, a initial concentration was on overcoming barriers to biofuel commercialization. The 15,000 square-foot trickery was designed to yield dais to commander scale exam beds for modernized cellulos!
ic biofuel technologies grown by partners from other inhabitant labs, supervision agencies, industry, and academia.

ABPDU prolongation facility.

The routine of fermentation, in that microorganisms metabolize organic matter, is mostly a claim step in converting biomass to biofuels or other bioproducts, and stays one of a ABPDU’s core capabilities. However, in new years, a operation of a facility’s activities has stretched to implement a broader operation of tender materials to furnish a accumulation of bio-based material, chemical and protein finish products.

“If we’re going to rise a biofuel-based appetite economy we need to get all those other molecules we now get from oil from something else,” explained ABPDU module conduct Todd Pray. “So this is a approach to both rise some-more fit prolongation processes with bio-based inputs, to implement rubbish feedstocks—things like rubbish and rural residue—and to unequivocally grow a prolongation bottom for a economy.”

By leveraging a ABPDU’s capabilities, companies equivocate a vast cost and prolonged timelines compared with building their possess dedicated commander facilities, permitting them to concentration their efforts on product development, later-stage prolongation trickery deployment, and near-term pursuit growth.

To date, a ABPDU has entered into agreements with some-more than 30 partners to develop, scale, and countenance processes for transforming a accumulation of nonfood plant-, algae-, and waste-derived materials into a engorgement of products.

Massachusetts-based Kalion perceived support by a DOE module to work with a ABPDU to strech full prolongation scale prolongation of bio-based glucaric acid. One of a “Top Value Added Chemicals from Biomass” identified in a 2004 report, glucaric poison is many ordinarily found in detergents and can be a surrogate for reduction environmentally accessible phosphates.

“As a really small, gaunt association we indispensable another indicate of validation with a investors,” pronounced Kalion President Darcy Prather, vocalization to a common emanate of scaling adult prolongation processes. “The timing worked ideally so we were means to go from a two-liter to a 300-liter run around distillation during a ABPDU.”

Bolt Threads is operative with a ABPDU to examine a biophysical characteristics of their engineered silk proteins and to labour methods for separating and purifying them. The proteins are constructed in glass form by a distillation routine with mutated yeast, afterwards wet-spun into fibers, that can be weave or woven into textiles.

“We were captivated to ABPDU since of their expertise, specialized equipment, flexibility, and palliate of access,” pronounced Ritu Bansal-Mutalik, Bolt Threads’ Principal Scientist for Recovery and Separations. “The systematic conclusions ensuing from a partnership have accelerated a in-house investigate program, improving a timelines and providing genuine impact toward assembly a business objectives.”

Bolt Threads has begun transferring a lab-scale routine into commercial-scale operations for 3 customers, including outside attire builder Patagonia.

Fermentation has turn a critical record in a 21st century economy, pronounced Ron Shigeta, Chief Science Officer for Indie Bio, a San Francisco-based biotech accelerator. “But there are roughly no resources to assistance tiny companies doing distillation to rise their business. ABPDU is fulfilling a critical purpose in creation that real.”

A series of startups that have participated in Indie Bio’s complete four-month bench-to-product module have also collaborated with ABPDU. Recently Indie Bio formalized an powerful agreement to get companies in a residency module off and using with ABPDU some-more quickly. “Speed is critical to us,” Shigeta said, “and ABPDU has been really useful to get companies serve along toward mercantile viability.”

“We have worked with many forms of partners and are invigorated by a singular hurdles and opportunities presented by any one,” pronounced Pray. “Whether it is producing specialty bio-based chemicals used in flavorings, fragrances and cosmetics, or polymers used in packaging, coatings, and adhesives, we are vehement to play a partial in relocating these innovations from a dais to a marketplace.”

For some-more on ABPDU’s collaborations go to:

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses a world’s many obligatory systematic hurdles by advancing tolerable energy, safeguarding tellurian health, formulating new materials, and divulgence a start and predestine of a universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s systematic imagination has been famous with 13 Nobel Prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for a U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more, visit

DOE’s Office of Science is a singular largest believer of simple investigate in a earthy sciences in a United States, and is operative to residence some of a many dire hurdles of a time. For some-more information, greatfully visit

Source: Berkeley Lab

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