37th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals

The Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology is currently accepting abstracts for oral and poster presentations to be presented at the 37th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals. Technical presentations make up the majority of presentations, however detailed and informative presentations regarding commercial- and demonstration-scale endeavors advancing and promoting the emerging bio-based economy are strongly encouraged.  Presenters are asked to submit their abstracts to one of the six general research tracks listed.  The number of expected sessions for each track is indicated, however these may vary based on the number and quality of received abstracts.  Each session is expected to have seven (7) oral presentations. Abstracts for oral and poster presentation at the 37th SBFC are being accepted in the following research topics: 

Feedstocks (3 sessions)

Renewable plant-based feedstocks are the starting materials for any biomass conversion process. This track focuses on manipulation, analysis, and the logistics of optimizing these feedstocks for subsequent conversion, whether in a constrained process or more generally. Manipulation of feedstock properties to enhance conversion, including higher enzymatic or microbial reaction rates or yields, are of particular interest. The following lists general, non-exclusive topics of interest for this track:

  • Genetic and environmental manipulation of feedstocks for improved conversion traits
  • New and improved analytical methodologies for characterization of feedstocks
  • Comparative analyses or performance of different feedstocks
  • Enhanced agricultural and land-use practices for growing feedstocks
  • Harvesting, processing, storage, and transportation of feedstocks

Pretreatment and Fractionation (3 sessions)

Pretreatment and fractionation encompasses a wide variety of processes for making biomass feedstocks more amenable to enzymatic or microbial conversion. Numerous methodologies exist and there are distinct advantages and downsides to each. Advances in technical approaches that decrease conversion costs through increasing rates and yields of products are of particular interest. Fractionation methodologies used to subdivide biomass into its major constituents (cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin) are also of high interest. The following lists general, non-exclusive topics of interest for this track:

  • Thermal processes designed to make biomass feedstocks more amenable to subsequent enzymatic or microbial conversion to bioproducts (i.e., not direct conversion)
  • Acid, neutral, or alkaline processes designed to render biomass feedstocks more amenable to subsequent enzymatic or microbial conversion to bio-products
  • Mechanical, ionic liquid, gas, or other technologies designed to make biomass feedstocks more amenable to subsequent enzymatic or microbial conversion to bio-products
  • Combinations of processes listed above
  • Physical or chemical processes designed to separate biomass into cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and other subcomponent fractions

Enzyme Science and Technology (3 sessions)

Enzymes are central to biological generation of fuels and chemicals from renewable feedstocks, whether through deconstruction of lignocellulose, conversion of biomass-derived compounds to products, or via autotrophic carbon fixation. This multi-session track will highlight advances in enzyme discovery, characterization and kinetic analysis, performance engineering, and structure- and model-driven understanding of catalytic mechanisms. Of particular interest are studies on increased thermostability, oxidative mechanisms of biomass deconstruction, enzyme synergy in biomass conversion, and in developing robust consolidated bioprocessing-based conversion processes. The following lists general, non-exclusive topics of interest for this track:

  • New and improved assay methods and characterization techniques for biomass depolymerizing enzymes
  • Enzyme engineering for improved activity, thermostability, substrate utilization, and process condition tolerance
  • Enzymatic lignin deconstruction
  • The role of oxidative enzymes in plant cell wall deconstruction
  • The function and application of expansins, swollenins, and accessory enzymes that facilitate cell wall disruption
  • Enzyme synergy in biomass hydrolysis: cellulases, hemicellulases, and accessory and oxidative enzymes
  • Enzyme modeling and structural studies to develop improved understanding of enzyme functionality, mechanisms, and structure-function relationships

Microbial Science and Technology (3 sessions)

Microbes are essential biocatalysts in both heterotrophic and autotrophic production of fuels and chemicals. Alcohols, lipids, hydrocarbons, and a wide variety of other organic compounds can be produced by microbial systems. As the opportunities to use these clean biocatalysts in the production of renewable fuels and chemicals becomes more widespread, improvements in rate, titer, conversion efficiency, and yield are needed to overcome the scale and economic obstacles to achieving an economically viable bio-based fuels and chemicals market. This multi-session track will emphasize recent research progress utilizing bacteria, fungi, and algae to overcome these fundamental obstacles. Topics of particular interest include new microbe strain discovery, progress using genetic engineering, microbial evolution and systems biology approaches to enhance strain performance, as well as testing of natural or constructed consortia for improved microbial bioconversion. The following lists general, non-exclusive topics of interest for this track:

  • New biocatalyst discovery and development for biofuels and chemicals production
  • Improved algal production of lipids through strain and process engineering
  • Microbe engineering for consolidated bioprocessing and alternative substrate utilization
  • Microbial metabolic pathway engineering and process development for new microbial-based products

Renewable Fuels, Chemicals, and Bio-based Products (4 sessions)

A wide variety of bio-based chemicals and advanced biofuels can be produced from biomass-derived sugars, synthesis gases, or other sustainable carbon sources. Here, the focus is primarily on the products and general methods to pretreat, enzymatically hydrolyze, or process products should be directed to other, more pertinent, tracks. Sessions in this track will highlight advances in the development and marketing of biological and combined thermochemical-biological (or biological-thermochemical) routes to producing bio-based products from renewable feedstocks. Also of interest are studies describing progress in producing bio-based intermediates suitable for upgrading in petroleum refineries as well as in developing new chemicals and fuels products from lignin or other potential biorefining side streams. The following lists general, non-exclusive topics of interest for this track:

  • Development of bio-based chemicals for large volume non-fuel applications, such as bioplastics, biopolymers and feedstock chemicals (i.e., precursors, intermediates)
  • Bio-based chemicals for lower volume specialty non-fuel applications
  • Improvements in lignocellulosic alcohol fuels (ethanol, butanol, longer chain alcohols, and beyond)
  • Developments in triglyceride-based biodiesel production, both primary fuel and/or co-product production
  • Novel routes to producing advanced biomass-based biofuels such as direct drop-in hydrocarbon replacements for gasoline, diesel or jet fuels
  • Techno-economic and life-cycle analyses of bio-based fuels and chemicals products

Begin a submission to the following:

(Submit oral and poster abstracts here)

Abstract Submission Deadline 11:59pm: Thursday, November 19, 2015


Maximum Abstract Length is 250 Words

Poster size is 4' x 4'

General Instructions

NOTE: When entering your abstract title, use initial capital letters only for the first word in the title and any genus or proper name appearing in the title. Use lower case for all other words in the title, i.e., Improving phenylalanine production of Escherichia coli.

Poster spaces are limited. Please do not submit an abstract unless you are committed to attending the meeting and presenting. To be assured of a poster space after receiving an acceptance, each poster must have the presenting author registered and paid by the advanced registration deadline date of 5PM eastern standard time on February 20, 2015. Substitutions for the presenting author must be identified by contacting SIMB directly. In the case of a substitution, the new presenter must also be registered and paid by February 20, 2015.

All posters displayed must have at least one author available to discuss the poster. This author may present only two posters within a single poster session, and present no more than a total of three posters in both poster sessions, i.e., a single author may present a maximum of two (2) posters in one poster session and one (1) poster in the other poster session.

IMPORTANT: You will be notified by email of acceptance of your poster abstract. All accepted poster presenters must be registered and paid in full by 5PM eastern standard time on February 20, 2015. If you have not registered and paid by the date specified, your poster will be withdrawn from the program/website and space will not be reserved for you in the poster hall.

Please do not bring a poster to the meeting if you have not been accepted or if you have not registered and paid by the required registration date.

In lieu of a keynote speaker, the 37th SBFC will begin with an hour-long poster preview session. Forty presenters will be chosen from accepted poster submissions to present their work on one slide in one minute in the general session meeting room. There will be no questions and no comments. This is an opportunity to preview your poster to the entire meeting audience and to get your colleagues excited to see your work. If you are interested in being considered for this opportunity, please check the appropriate box when you submit your abstract. This is for posters only, not for selected oral presentations. Students are encouraged to apply.

Technical Support

For help in submitting an abstract online, email Tech Support.