This page contains presentation slides and audio files from the Bioenergy Technologies Office's webinar series that covers many of the Office's activities and features "Hot Topics" discussions relevant to the development of renewable fuels, power, and products from biomass resources.

Upcoming Webinars

Check out our Events page to find out more about our upcoming webinars.

Recent Webinars

April 15, 2013 –"Computational Studies on Lignocellulose Deconstruction"
Dr. Gnana S. Gnanakaran from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) presented his team's molecular research on lignocellulosic biomass. Lignocellulose is a promising carbon-neutral source of energy that is sourced from non-edible feedstocks. The webinar featured LANL's novel application of mathematical modeling and computational analysis to gain a better understanding of cellular and molecular biology. This approach provides one of the most in-depth looks at how lignocellulosic biomass functions, reacts, and changes, which can advance future applied studies in conversion and processing methods.

December 12, 2012 –"Upgrading Renewable and Sustainable Carbohydrates For the Production of High Energy Density Fuels"
Presenters from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) highlighted the development of hydrocarbon fuels as renewable alternatives to petrochemical feedstocks. With decreasing global production of crude oil, it is essential to our nation that renewable alternatives to petrochemical feedstocks for hydrocarbon fuels are developed. A constant, reliable supply of these fuels would help ensure that the nationwide transportation of food, medicine, and consumer goods remains uninterrupted, regardless of sociopolitical conflict. Lignocellulose is a promising carbon-neutral source of energy derived from wood, agricultural waste, and woody grasses. The carbohydrates D-glucose (C6), L-arabinose (C5), and D-xylose (C5) are readily obtained from the hydrolysis of lignocellulose and constitute the most abundant renewable organic carbon source on the planet. Because they are naturally produced on such a large scale, these sugars have the greatest potential to displace petrochemical-derived transportation fuel. Researchers discussed investigations into a potentially transformational strategy aimed at obtaining high energy density hydrocarbon fuels from non-food-based carbohydrate sources.

December 5, 2012 – "Global Solutions for Global Challenges: International Collaborations to Advance Bioenergy Research"
Presenters highlighted the progress of ongoing research collaborations among scientists supported by the Energy Department and researchers from China, Brazil, Canada, Finland, and other countries around the world. Scientists from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) discussed collaborations that hold the potential for innovations in feedstock logistics and biomass conversion technologies that will help accelerate the commercialization of advanced biofuels. The presenters provided the results of exchanging best practices and benchmarking current biofuels systems with metrics and trends in trade and commoditization. Finally, the webinar featured collaborative work supporting the International Organization for Standardization and other initiatives attempting to define metrics and indicators to foster robust international markets for sustainable biofuels.

August 15, 2012 – "Assessing Impacts of Bioenergy Production on Regional Water Resource Use and Availability"
This session—intended for local, county, and state water managers; working farmers and biofuel leaders; students and professionals in the fuel and energy sectors; and policymakers—provided an overview of requirements for water resources, as well as a discussion of the environmental impacts attributable to wastewater from biofuels production. Dr. May Wu from Argonne National Laboratory presented case studies to highlight the unique aspects of the water footprint of biofuels, thereby demonstrating the complex nature of the energy-water relationship.

April 23, 2012 – "Educational Opportunities in Bioenergy"
This focused on educational opportunities at two Department of Energy (DOE) national labs: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). During the webinar, experts from NREL and ORNL showcased specific bioenergy research programs and exciting educational opportunities available for undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students at the labs. The webinar topics featured synopses of these bioenergy research programs, highlights of the benefits to students participating in them, and a list of important contacts to help students get involved. Webcast presenters included current and former student participants and leaders of the bioenergy research programs from both national labs, who provided information on the programs and their experiences.

February 9, 2012 – "Conversion Technologies for Advanced Biofuels Roadmapping Workshop Webinar"
This focused on the results from the Conversion Technologies for Advanced Biofuels (CTAB) Roadmapping Workshop, hosted by the Bioenergy Technologies Office in Arlington, Virginia, in December 2011. Critical technical barrier areas and research activities indentified during the workshop were a central theme of the webinar and were presented by the subject matter experts who led the breakout sessions. The webinar also highlighted talks on broad technical issues (such as separation and catalysis) and innovative methods of biomass processing (such as hybrid conversion systems and lignin utilization). The information collected at the CTAB Workshop will form the basis of an upcoming roadmap document on research challenges and research and development activities for the commercial development of advanced biofuel technologies, slated for publication in late 2012.

September 22, 2011 – "The U.S. Billion-Ton Update: Biomass Supply for a Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry"

This featured the 2011 U.S. Billion-Ton Update: Biomass Supply for a Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry, a report detailing biomass feedstock potential nationwide. Authors of the report presented the purpose, approach, and major assumptions of the 2011 Billion-Ton Update, including how it differs from the 2005 Billion-Ton Study. They discussed the report's findings, as well as how its data might be used by both the public and private sector to grow the bioenergy industry and help achieve President Obama's goals of expanding renewable energy resources and developing alternative fuels for America's transportation sector. 

August 30, 2011 "Transforming Biomass into Feedstock"

This focused on how raw biomass can be processed into consistent and reliable feedstock material. Speakers from the Bioenergy Technologies Office, Office of Science, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), Idaho National Laboratory, and other institutions discussed technologies that produce and transform biomass into high-quality, on-spec, densified feedstocks. Speakers addressed the impacts these technologies have on supply chain logistics and feedstock performance for biofuels and biopower applications. Presentations covered both fundamental science related to cell wall formation and function, as well as applied research and development areas, such as engineering plants to produce enzymes that degrade cell walls when activated and increasing field density and productivity, while reducing fertilizer inputs.

View presentation materials and recordings on Idaho National Laboratory's website.

May 17, 2011 – "Sustainability for the Global Biofuels Industry - Minimizing Risks and Maximizing Opportunities"

This featured an overview of sustainability issues related to the development of a global biofuels market. A panel of speakers from Conservation International discussed the results of the Department of Energy (DOE)-supported Sustainable Biofuel Crops Project, including identified risks and opportunities for global biofuels production, results of field studies to develop responsible biofuel crop management strategies, and implications for land-use planning, policy, and developing markets.

February 8, 2011 – "Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework"

This demonstrated the Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework (KDF). The session included an overview of the system, case studies of how it may be used, and a demonstration of its user interface. View webinar recordings on the KDF website.

November 18, 2010 – "Advanced Biofuels Research Pathways"

This featured an overview of the Office's ongoing advanced biofuels research, including research on biochemical and thermochemical conversion processes. This session also discussed the progress the National Advanced Biofuels Consortium is making in research, development, and demonstration of process technology strategies to convert biomass feedstock into a form that can be used in a petroleum refinery. These new and innovative approaches can advance the commercialization and adoption of advanced biofuels.

September 8, 2010 – "The Promise and Challenges of Algae as Renewable Sources of Biofuels"

This focused on the Office's approach to algal biofuels research and development and included presentations from four representatives of its recently funded consortia. This session also discussed highlights from the National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap, which was released by DOE in June 2010.