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Track 2 Session Details

AFCC Conference Breakout Sessions

Breakout Sessions are 90 minutes, each one has one moderator with a maximum of four speakers.


Breakout sessions will be focused on the following four subject areas:



Track 2 Breakout Session Details

Sustainable Feedstocks, Biofuels, Food and Feed Products Driving Decarbonization

This Track is Sponsored by:

Monday, November 7, 2022 - RiverView 2

​​Session 1: 8 AM to 9:30 AM : Reducing Waste to High Value Products: A Regulatory Perspective

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Moderator: Michael Cruse, VP Strategic Accounts, Koch Project Solutions


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Paul Argyropoulos


Policy Nexus Advisors

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Eric Barger


BargerTech International, LLC

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Bob Hambrecht


Allotrope Partners

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Paul Schubert


Strategic Biofuels

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Julie Tucker

National Program Manager – Wood Innnovations: Bioenergy, Biofuels, and Bioproducts

USDA Forest Service

Building the supply chain using innovative strategies to transform organic waste into biofuels and other high value products by working with farmers, agri-business, federal and state agencies, and local communities. Using methodologies which convert waste to biofuels and their intermediates, need to be in compliance with federal and state authorities.  Good example of waste would be from forest residuals deployed from areas of risk of wildfire, insect infested and diseased trees from federal or tribal forests which are eligible for RINs in the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Paul Schubert, CEO, Strategic Biofuels

Forestry Feedstocks Compliance Tracking for EPA Compliance Under RFS2

Under RFS2, conversion of qualified forestry feedstocks by any process into renewable cellulosic diesel, cellulosic jet fuel and cellulosic heating oil qualify them for D-3 (advanced biofuels) and D-7 (cellulosic) credits. The three qualifying categories of woody biomass defined under 40 CFR §80.1401 that can be used to produce cellulosic renewable fuels are slash, pre-commercial thinnings, and tree residues. Creating an auditable tracking system that fully meets EPA requirements represents a significant challenge. Strategic Biofuels has entered into a Cooperative Agreement with the US Forestry Service for the first phase of a multiphase program to develop a robust, auditable cloud-based system for demonstrating compliance of forestry feedstock loads with EPA regulations. The ultimate goal of this multiphase project is to develop of a user friendly, cost effective, fraud resistant gold standard tracking system that both meets the needs of the forestry feedstock sector as well as establishes a template for emulation by other sectors. Such a system must be easily used by the timber owners, timber managers, logger, truckers, and the plant receiving the forestry materials. For ease of field use it should be accessible via smart phone., and for audit purposes the entire database should be readily accessible and with standardized reports for EPA and state authorities. The scope, execution plan, timeline, and preliminary findings for the project will be presented.

Session 2: 10 AM to 11:30 AM:  New Policies to Incentivize Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Production

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Moderator: Steve Csonka, Executive Director, Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI)

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Terry Kulesa




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Mike Darcy

Chairman & CEO

DG Fuels

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Gary Grimes

Director of Sustainability and Technology

World Energy

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Philip Moore

Sr. Federal Affairs Director

Southwest Airlines

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Tim Pohle

Vice President, Environment Affairs

Airlines for America

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Cherie Wilson

Vice President, Government Affairs – Sustainability

Delta Air Lines

The Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA’s) 2022 new grant program and tax credit incentives will help immediately jumpstart production of SAF in the United Sates.  The provisions in IRA fill a gap in existing policy that will increase the supply of SAF and help make it more cost competitive with fossil jet fuel.  The two major incentives in IRA are the first-ever large-scale grant program dedicated to scaling up, coupled with the new tax incentives.  In this Session, the producers and end-users will provide insight on what lies ahead, the impact of these new policies – will it address high costs and low production of SAF?  Is this enough to reach 3 billion gallons per year by 2030?  What is the next federal support required for SAF?

​Session 3: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM: Develop and Produce Scalable, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)


Moderator: Valerie Sarisky-Reed, Director, Bioenergy Technologies Office, DOE EERE


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Zia Abdullah

Laboratory Manager

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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Mela Buzzetta

Sr. Sustainable Fuels Consultant

Southwest Airlines

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Ramsey Fahs

Policy Advisor

DOE Loan Programs Office

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Andrew Miller

Director - Project Finance


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Brian Ripsin

Sustainability Manager Americas

Shell Aviation

The dynamic speakers in this session will discuss strategies for deploying producer developed environmental benefits for SAF as financial attributes to airlines and potential opportunities and challenges in developing such strategies and benefits from long term agreements.  In addition, SAF related government-industry partnership will be show-cased based on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) model to shift the aviation market further away from oil fields and closer to the farmlands which in turn the results will promote the goals for the multiagency SAF Grand Challenge.

Zia Abdullah, Laboratory Manager, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

How Can We Rapidly Scale SAF Production by 2050?

Air travel in the US has mostly recovered from the pandemic downturn, and expected to nearly double by 2050, with jet fuel consumption making up 8% of transportation emissions. Demand for aviation fuel was 26 billion gallons in 2019 and is expected to reach 35 billion gallons by 2050. To spur decarbonization of this rapidly growing transportation sector, the Biden Administration has issued the “SAF Grand Challenge”, to coordinate innovation across the Federal Government, industry, and NGOs to produce 3 billion gallons of SAF by 2030 and 35 billion gallons by 2050. This presentation will provide an overview of the approach that the NREL SAF program is taking to meet the SAF Grand Challenge through cutting edge science and R&D and deliver conversion pathways to industry partners for deployment. We consider the entire value chain from feedstock supply through conversion, logistics and delivery of finished SAF. Our approach is to identify opportunities to accelerate technology deployment, but at the same time make SAF which meets ASTM approval, as well as cost and GHG reduction targets.

Session 4: 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM: Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF): What’s on the Horizon for Companies in Low-Carbon Transportation Fuels Industry

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Moderator: Chris Tindal, Assistant Director, Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI)


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Nick Andrews


USA BioEnergy

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Mike Caston

Director, Investments & Finance, Sustainable Aviation Fuels


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John Hannon



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Gerard Ostheimer


Clean Energy Ministerial Biofuture Campaign

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Nancy Young

Chief Sustainability Officer

Alder Fuels

The panelists in this SAF session will present their breakthrough technologies addressing challenges for climate and SAF.  The companies are engaged in protecting the environment, assuring industry growth, and addressing customers’ needs via activities such as support and advocacy, feedstock and pathway research and development, and fuels approval.  These companies are collaborating with partners around the world on projects using purpose-grown feedstocks, waste such as forest residuals, and other renewable resources.    

Tuesday, November 8, 2022 - RiverView 2

​Session 5: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM: The Environmental & Economic Benefits of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)

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Moderator: Johannes D. Escudero, Founder & CEO, Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)


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Mallik Angalakudati

Senior Vice President Strategy & Innovation Utilities

Washington Gas

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Brent Belding


Sparkstone Capital Advisors

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Zach Chapin

Manager RNG Business Development

Dominion Energy / Align RNG

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Shawn Kreloff


BioEnergy DevCo

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RNG Coalition is a non-profit organization leading and providing policy advocacy and education for the renewable natural gas industry in North America and around the world. RNG Coalition's mission is to advocate and educate for the sustainable development, deployment and utilization of renewable natural gas so that present and future generations have access to domestic, renewable, clean fuel and energy. Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) is derived from methane that is captured from organic waste streams. RNG helps address a waste management problem (World Bank projects waste to increase 70% by 2050) and mitigates the otherwise harmful methane emissions that would either be flared (combusted and wasted) or worse, vented into the atmosphere. RNG is a no-regrets solution that converts society's organic waste streams from a liability into a renewable energy asset. When the RNG Coalition coalesced the RNG industry in 2011, there were only 31 operating RNG facilities. Today, there are more than 268 operating facilities. As part of the Sustainable Methane Abatement & Recycling Timeline (SMART) Initiative, RNG Coalition members are working to capture and control methane from more than 43,000 aggregated organic waste sites across North America by 2050, and achieve meaningful benchmarks by 2025, 2030 and 2040. This panel will draw upon experts from across the RNG value-supply-chain and focus on the opportunity to participate in and realize the environmental and economic benefits of RNG through the RNG Coalition's mission and SMART Initiative.

​Session 6: 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM: Advances and Solutions: Decarbonization with Affordable Hydrogen, Renewable Gasoline and Other Alternative Fuels

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Moderator: Emanuel Wagner, President, Palamedes Strategies


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Philippe Haffner


Haffner Energy

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Tom Hobby

CEO & Managing Member

Yosemite Clean Energy

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Dave Kettner

President & General Counsel


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Andrew White


CHAR Technologies Ltd.

Philippe Haffner, CEO, Haffner Energy

Cost-effective green energy production while sequestering CO2

The existential threat posed by the impact of global warming calls for the collective reduction of our net greenhouse gas emissions, pioneering green energy production technologies, and the transition to a climate-neutral economy. Haffner Energy, a listed French company, developed and deploys technologies for the generation of green hydrogen and renewable gases simultaneously with carbon capture via the production of biochar. Hynoca® and Synoca® are patented technologies based on the thermolysis of sustainable biomass, game changers for seven main reasons: The solution is ready to be deployed, with a plant in Strasbourg at the heart of Europe Thanks to the co-production of biochar, the hydrogen and gases produced have a negative carbon footprint. The process sequesters 12 kg (net) of CO2 per KG of hydrogen or 360 kg of CO2 per MWh of gas LHV produced. This is independently calculated and certified by EVEA, an entity specializing in product life-cycle-analysis. Biochar is a mature way to capture carbon, and an excellent natural fertilizer which also decreases plant water consumption. The hydrogen and gas produced are already cost-competitive with fossil fuels. The versatility of the process, producing either gas or hydrogen in addition to biochar, provides great flexibility and safety to operators. The technology stimulates local circular economy and job creation. Operation is autonomous and self-sufficient, relying very little on electricity. The process can be operated over 8000 hours per year as it is not dependent on renewable electricity production.

Tom Hobby, CEO, Yosemite Clean Energy

Yosemite’s Stump-to-Pump Hydrogen Strategy

Yosemite is a bioenergy development company that specializes in transforming farm and forest wood waste into carbon negative green hydrogen and renewable natural gas, providing renewable solutions to California’s transportation and broader energy sectors while reducing risk of wildfire and raising air quality. Biomass-to-hydrogen is often overlooked or minimized as an energy solution but has the opportunity to play a key role in the energy transition. Especially in geographically strategic locations where woody biomass is abundant and water is scarce, biomass to hydrogen can be the most practical technology. 

As stated by Lawrence Livermore’s Report, Getting to Neutral, “gasifying biomass to make hydrogen fuel and CO2 has the largest promise for CO2 removal at the lowest cost and aligns with the state’s goals on renewable hydrogen.” If we are going to capitalize on this solution, the industry still needs the regulatory atmosphere to catch up with the market, as it is lagging in certain respects, both at a state and federal level. Further, in order to develop the market, the industry has to effectively message the benefits of bio-hydrogen, while clarifying the fallacies surrounding waste management and the bioenergy industry more broadly. 

Yosemite is also of the philosophy that local – especially rural—communities that source biomass should play a direct role in the transition to renewable hydrogen, and also support the use of carbon negative RNG, and advocates for a bottom-up approach. In an industry dominated by Washington DC, Wall Street, and Sacramento, Yosemite is fighting to involve main street in the hydrogen solution. Not only is this equitable, but it promotes local production and utilization, which is critical when dealing with a molecule that is difficult to store and transport.  Yosemite’s Stump-to-Pump hydrogen strategy is a way to provide rural economic development, energy independence and resiliency, in a triple bottom line way that supports the energy transition.

Dave Kettner, President & General Counsel, Virent

Are EV’s the Only Option – Let’s Talk Low Carbon (Renewable) Gasoline

Electric vehicles are being positioned as the leading alternative for reducing the carbon footprint of domestic ground transportation. Other options such as low carbon gasoline may provide the opportunity to achieve the same if not a greater impact in a shorter period and without the costs and infrastructure investments required to recognize the benefits of electric vehicles. Virent’s BioForming® process enables the production of low carbon gasoline from bio-based feedstocks and is primed to speed up the transition to low carbon solutions for domestic transportation using the current fueling infrastructure and fleet of cars. BioForming® can use a wide variety of both cellulosic and conventional plant sugars, enabling the production of a renewable gasoline similar to the existing petroleum-derived counterpart, and can be “dropped-in” to the current fueling infrastructure, including today’s pipelines, tanks, pumps and engines of all kinds. The utilization of renewable feedstocks in conjunction with sustainable processing allows for Virent’s low carbon (renewable) gasoline to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of domestic transportation, and in the immediate short term provides a solution to a lower cost option to electric vehicles. EVs or Renewable Gas? Neither is the sole answer. The future of sustainable transportation should include options for both if not more.


​Andrew White, CEO, CHAR Technologies Ltd.

Renewable Gases & Biocarbon from Biomass with High Temperature Pyrolysis - A Co-Product Model

CHAR Technologies High Temperature Pyrolysis (HTP) process converts low value, residual biomass and wastes into co-products of biocarbon and renewable gases, with an aim to continue to decarbonize for a circular economy. With the co-product model, project revenue and overall project economics can stand, even with a input cost to incoming feedstock. Depending on the feedstock, the biocarbon can either be used to offset fossil coal in heavy industrial applications such as steel making, or can be used as part of a PyCCS (Pyrolysis Carbon Capture & Sequestration) process, sequestering carbon in a solid form while generating saleable carbon credits (CORCs, or Carbon Dioxide Removal Certificates). Likewise, depending on the feedstock, the gases generated via the HTP process can either be optimized to generate a green hydrogen product, or can be processed and upgraded into renewable natural gas. During the presentation, the technology, as well as the various product output opportunities, will be explored in greater detail.

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