Press Releases

Announcements, Articles, In the News



Bioenergy Technologies Office’s Director Refers To ABPDU’s Achievement

The Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Process Demonstration Unit (ABPDU) is mentioned in an article by Jonathan Male, Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) on the integration of the production of biofuels and bioproducts. Male referred to pre-pilot-scale production of malonic acid from pure non-food sugar as a model for cellulosic sugars by industrial biotechnology company Lygos Inc., which was successfully achieved at the ABPDU.

ABPDU Enters into New Federal Strategic Partnership Program Agreements

The Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit (ABPDU) has entered into Federal Strategic Partnership Program agreements with three new companies to develop and scale up processes in renewable chemical production (Ardra Bio), sustainable food product development (Hampton Creek), and biobased chemical production (Ginkgo Bioworks).

ABPDU Researchers Participate in Lab-Corps Program Training

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Lab-Corps program has announced a second round of training for entrepreneurial teams at the national labs. Lab-Corps aims to accelerate the transfer of clean energy technologies from the national labs to the marketplace by training and empowering national lab researchers to successfully transition their discoveries into high-impact, real world technologies in the private sector. The training which involves 14 project teams from seven DOE national labs began this week in Golden, Colorado. The rigorous seven-week training follows the path of a typical start-up accelerator.

Berkeley Lab’s Biosciences Area has two teams of researchers participating in this second round of training. ABPDU’s Deepti Tanjore (Principal Investigator) and JBEI’s Joshua Heinemann (Entrepreneurial Lead)  from the Biosciences Biological Systems & Engineering Division (BSE) form team BioAlchemy. They have developed a new microfluidic technology (microNIMS) for high-throughput screening of cellulose degrading enzymes.

Also from BSE is team Evodia which includes JBEI’s Robert Haushalter (Principal Investigator), Jorge Alonso‐Gutierrez (Entrepreneurial Lead), and ABPDU’s Todd Pray who serves as Industry Mentor. Evodia is developing engineered microbes to convert inexpensive, renewable sugars into high-value specialty chemicals.

The teams will graduate on May 5 and will join the Lab-Corps alumni network.

To learn more about the Lab-Corps training and the 14 national lab teams visit the EERE webpage.

Lygos Accelerates Commercialization of Bio-Malonic Acid

Lygos has been awarded a $300,000 Small Business Voucher from the U.S. Department of Energy helping to accelerate scaleup and commercialization of the malonic acid technology. The voucher will be used to run Lygos’ bio-malonic acid fermentation process at up to 7,000-liter scale at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and to validate process performance using cellulose-derived sugars at the Advanced Biofuels Process Development Unit (ABPDU). Lygos will purify the malonic acid produced at NREL and the ABPDU, producing high-purity bio-malonic acid derived from cellulosic sugars.

Berkeley Lab to Collaborate with Small Businesses to Commercialize Clean Energy Products

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will partner with four clean energy small businesses to accelerate the commercialization of their innovative bioenergy, buildings and vehicle technologies as part of the Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot launched in July 2015 by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). One of those companies is Lygos, Inc., which has partnered with the Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit (ABPDU) in the past to achieve pilot-scale production of malonic acid from sugar. Lygos will conduct the necessary testing at the APBDU to overcome current barriers to scale-up, and then move production to the large-scale fermenters at DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Innovative Microvi Bio-Ethanol Technology Validated at ABPDU

In the first phase of the Microvi-ABPDU collaboration, Microvi’s biocatalytic technnology yielded impressive performance, including a near doubling of bio-ethanol productivity.

Why We Have a Joint BioEnergy Institute: The Story of Ionic Liquids

The development of ionic liquids, and the potential for a transformative impact on the cost and sources of renewable fuels, demonstrates why DOE created a clutch of integrated bioenergy research centers.

How’s the progress? Lookin’ good.

First Bioprocess Pilot Production of Malonic Acid From Renewables

Achieving an industry-first, Lygos and ABPDU collaborated to scale up pilot production of this biomass-derived malonic acid, which is used to make a variety of pharmaceuticals, flavors, fragrances, and other materials.

The Bio-Incredibles

Bio-Incredibles: who can change the course of mighty genomes, bend DNA in their bare hands.

Hidden in Emeryville, California, mild-mannered high-tech center for a great metropolis, they fight a never-ending battle for science, progress, and a Series A investment round.

Switchgrass advance: JBEI’s Ionic Liquid Pretreatment, Enzymatic Hydrolysis Scales Effectively

The ionic liquid pretreatment process developed at JBEI, in collaboration with ABPDU, scales effectively (600-fold, from 0.01 to 6L) with no loss in performance, indicating that there is a path forward to volumes relevant to biorefineries (100-1000L).