The Bioprocessing Separations Consortium, originally established in 2016 by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and led by Argonne National Laboratory, recently received a three year funding renewal to continue advancing separations technologies critical to converting biomass to low-carbon biofuel.
The Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Process Development Unit (ABPDU) represents Berkeley Lab as a partner in the consortium. ABPDU researchers Carolina Barcelos, Dupeng Liu, Asun Oka, Ning Sun, Eric Sundstrom, and Xinyi Zhou lead the consortium’s biofuels and bio-product separations, biomass fractionation, lignin separation, and fermentation efforts. The multilab collaboration also includes DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
“The consortium is dedicated to identifying and overcoming separations challenges associated with converting biomass into fuels and chemicals. Teams from six laboratories conduct coordinated separations research,” said Lauren Valentino, the consortium’s principal investigator and an environmental engineer in Argonne’s Applied Materials division. “Due to the consortium’s work, new, high performing, low-cost separations technologies will be available to biofuel and bioproduct industries.”
The consortium’s goal is to develop separation technologies that are cost-effective, high performing and can be scaled up to advance technology to meet the growing demand for biofuel. Biofuel has enormous potential in the transition away from fossil fuels. It could potentially power energy-intensive vehicles like airplanes, ships and trains that are hard to electrify, while reducing GHG emissions.