26th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

Sustainable Manufacturing Powered by Synthetic Biology

Organizers: Lisa A. Anderson, Scientist II, Screening and Analytics, Amyris, Inc., Emeryville, CA; Paul Hill, Vice President, Process Development and Engineering, Amyris, Inc., Emeryville, CA; Manuela Pintado, Associate Professor, Universidade Católica Portuguesa – Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Porto, Portugal

Chemical products are critical components of consumer goods and are found in everything from automobiles to plastics to electronics. In the past 10 years, fermentation-based production of bioproducts has skyrocketed largely driven by the demand for sustainable products in the fuels, food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and flavors and fragrance markets.

The increase in the breadth of targets has been driven by breakthroughs in metabolic engineering, microbial strain construction, analytics, data science, automation, and process development, thus enabling cost-effective production1. Sustainability improvements touch all parts of the R&D to scale-up pipeline. Compared to the petrochemical derivation, chemicals derived from fermentation are in many ways more sustainable – this is backed up by carbon accounting. That said, for a more circular economy, there are opportunities to better understand the sustainability of other aspects of the production process, including raw materials/feedstock processing, downstream processing, and supply chain logistics.

This symposium will bring together experts in the below areas that incorporate sustainability practices in the theme of circular economy for fermentation-based products:

  • Microbial production of small molecules, polymers, proteins
  • Methods of fermentation, process development, manufacturing, distribution
  • Applications in the scale up of pharmaceuticals, fuels, cosmetics, flavors, fragrances, textiles, materials, and ingredients
  • Next generation integrated biorefineries for sustainable biomanufacturingUtilization of fermentation by-products

This symposium well-aligns with the mission of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute and the 2021 conference theme of Sustainable Production to Advance the Circular Economy. The presentations and discussions will highlight what it means to do clean and sustainable fermentation and manufacturing and where we need to go to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goal of Responsible Consumption and Production. Science- and synthetic biology- based consumer goods are not just a trend – consumers are demanding for non-toxic and sustainably-derived products for better health and for a better planet. This is the future.

To showcase the technical and implications, some presenters will share in-depth analysis of research or products while others will focus on real world applications and future innovation. To promote an interactive environment, the session will culminate with a panel discussion from invited speakers.

Gaps to be addressed and highlighted in the symposium:

  • Clean Fermentation – fermentation production can create products in a carbon neutral or negative way. What is missed in the carbon footprint accounting?
  • Clean Manufacturing – how can principles from clean manufacturing bring along other industries to realize a more sustainable society? According to a report from the US DOE, the chemical sector is the largest consumer of primary energy in US manufacturing as manufacturing is complex and energy intensive2. In 2006, the chemicals sector used 4,513 trillion BTU of primary energy which resulted in 275 MMT CO2e emissions. What are the tradeoffs in scaling up? How do the product to product requirements for subsequent purification vary and thus impact carbon neutrality?
  • Integrated Biorefineries – from cradle-to-cradle or cradle-to-grave, how is waste handled?
  • Responsibility & Globalization – what can we learn from different regulatory and manufacturing processes from across the world. What standards and certifications will help met the UN Sustainable Development Goal on responsible consumption and production to drive sustainable manufacturing?
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