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Track 1 Session Details

AFCC Conference Breakout Sessions

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


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



Track 1 Breakout Session Details

Biobased Manufacturing: Renewable Chemicals, Bioplastics, Biomaterials Creating a Cleaner Planet

This Track is Sponsored by:

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Monday, November 13, 2023

All sessions for this Track will be held in Baltimore 1


Session 1: 8:00 AM to 9:30 AM: Low Carbon Intensity (CI Score) Biobased Products from Waste Carbon Fermentations

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Moderator: Joel Stone, President and Executive Director, Climate Systems Solutions


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Larry Feinberg



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Cesar Granda

VP of Technology Innovation & IP


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Molly Morse


Mango Materials

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David Tze



Can we produce valuable consumer, industrial, every day materials, and food products that offer a low carbon intensity score by using waste carbon as a feedstock for fermentations? The answer is: Absolutely yes and we will discuss how some of these companies are progressing.  Join this diverse panel of thought leaders in Waste Carbon Fermentations and delivering on ideas and solutions to supply value added products and materials while sequestering carbon with its use as a carbon feedstock. We will discuss different perspectives about how fermentation solutions that have an influence in meeting a net negative carbon economy using industrial biotechnology through fermentation. These technologies are taking advantage of the power of fermentation with efficient productivity metrics that offer diverse solutions towards a common goal of carbon consumption and emission reductions to improve the environment while delivering low CI score products.

Session 2: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM: Future Feedstocks: C1 and C2 Liquids for Fermentation and Sustainable Chemistry

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Moderator: Doug Cameron, Co- President & Director, First Green Partners


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Ramon Gonzalez

Chief Scientific Officer

Mojia Bio

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Amit Hasabnis

Director, Process Development

Viridis Chemicals

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Robert Osborne

Director, Biorefining Application Research


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Benjamin Woolston

Assistant Professor

Northeastern University

This panel will address the use of C1 and C2 liquids as feedstocks for fermentation and sustainable chemistry. In particular, it will focus on methanol, formic acid, ethanol, and acetic acid. All of these molecules have been used as fermentation and chemical feedstocks over the years. For example, methanol was the feedstock for one of the world’s largest commercial fermentations, the ICI single cell protein process in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Interest is growing in such feedstocks for a range of reasons. They can be derived from a variety of abundant, sustainable sources including biomass, municipal waste, syngas, and CO2. Mixing and mass transfer are easy relative to feedstocks like methane and syngas. They are clean relative to biomass hydrolysates, thus simplifying downstream processing. In the case of ethanol, there is a large existing industry which will need to adjust to the adoption of electric vehicles. Methanol production is expected to grow with its adoption as a fuel for ocean transport. Challenges for this transition will also be discussed, including the toxicity, flammability, and cost of these feedstocks.

Session 3: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM: Business Strategies for Biomaterials

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Moderator: Rick Eno, Managing Partner, York Growth Partners


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Brian Gordon 
President and Chief Operating Officer


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Michael Saltzberg



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Max Senechal


CJ Biomaterials

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Phil Van Trump

Chief Technology Officer Danimer Scientific

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Jon Veldhouse



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Jill Zullo

Interim President & CEO


There is a strong need for collaboration across a broad range of companies and technology disciplines to create sustainable value and build the circular biobased economy with practical solutions.  There is a stronger desire for building partnerships across the value chain to create biobased products for consumer acceptance with low carbon intensity. The leaders in this panel are partnering with organizations who share commitment to sustainability and continue in developing strategies for lowering emissions and displacing incumbent products.  Together, they bring better ideas to market, provide high performance biomaterials, and continue to grow the industrial biotechnology sector.

Session 4: 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM: Biobased Manufacturing: Biosynthetic & Textile Innovation

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Moderator: Bob Rozmiarek, Vice President, Strategy & Business Analysis, Virent


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Jamaica Gayle

Director, Sustainability & Environment Affairs

Plant Based Products Council

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Ralph Lerner

Industry Executive

Independent Consultant

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Tatsuya Matsuno

Director, Toray Industries (Thailand), Co., Ltd.

GM, Cellulosic Biomass Technology Co., Ltd.

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Wendy Owens



Innovation in biobased manufacturing requires an integrated approach of well-aligned partners pushing to challenge the status quo to meet aggressive sustainability targets and influence fundamental change. Members on this panel are leaders who have met the challenge and operate with a relentless focus on sustainability. From Hexas’ Farm-to-Fiber™ platform for their XanoFiber™ to Toray/CBT’s Biomass-Based Sugar Technology to Virent’s BioForming ® sugar to aromatics (S2A) technology, exciting opportunities exist to support non-petroleum alternatives for chemical and bioplastic production. We know we cannot do it alone, and support from the Plant-Based Products Council (PBPC) and experts with broad global renewable experience is an important element that helps bring it all together. This is done through awareness, collaboration, and advocacy for policy helping promote not only technology development but also efforts to de-risk commercialize, ultimately helping achieve decarbonization targets and supporting a cleaner planet.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

All sessions for this Track will be held in Baltimore 1

Session 5: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM: Advancements in the Production of Bioplastics and Biomaterials

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Moderator:  Ramani Narayan, Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University


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Jacqueline Amable


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Kelly Knopp

Principal & Founder

Citroniq Chemicals

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Daniel MacEachran

Global Head of Biotechnology

Braskem America


Amar Mohanty 
Distinguished Research Chair in Sustainable Biomaterials, Ontario Agriculture College (OAC)

University of Guelph

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Sasisanker Padmanabhan

Senior Principal Scientist

Praj Matrix

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Lauren Scott

Director of Corporate Affairs

CJ Biomaterials

Jacqueline Amable, CEO, Matereal

Introducing Matereal--Real Solutions for Real World Problems

The invention of plastics in the 20th century changed life in countless ways, enabling the lifestyles we take for granted. But they have also caused multiple problems that are becoming a crisis in this century. They have increased our dependence on petroleum and caused great ecological harm as products containing plastics fill our landfills, accumulate in our waterways and break down into micro and nanoparticles with yet unknown effects on life on the planet. Matereal has identified paths to reverse this trend by introducing Polaris, a renewable, biodegradable replacement for polyurethane that eliminates the use of toxic isocyanates. Though our technology can help solve some of the problems with plastics, they can also exacerbate other issues, such as the diversion of farmland and foodstuffs to make petroleum replacements. And so Matereal is unveiling its Farm-to-Plastics™ concept, a circular soil-to-soil integrated approach that drives regenerative farming methods for feedstock production, increased reliance on agricultural and plastic wastes, and polymer biodegradation in service to soil maintenance using AI as a tool for data organization and experimental design. In our presentation, we will describe our vision for the Farm-to-Plastics™ concept and show how we can achieve it using the versatile technology platform made possible by unique chemistry that forms the basis of the Polaris line of polymers.

Kelly Knopp, Principal & Founder, Citroniq Chemicals

The Role of Bioplastics in a Low Carbon Economy

To meet the corporate carbon-neutral and carbon-negative goals in place today will require large scale solutions over the next decade.  We are already seeing early recycling and bio-based solutions failing to meet their milestones due to higher capital costs and longer timelines than expected.  Citroniq Chemicals has developed a practical solution for the conversion of an existing bio-feedstock supply chain, corn-based ethanol in the US Midwest, to bio-polypropylene on a large scale.  Citroniq’s plan is to build 4 plants (400 kta of PP each) over a 7-year period that will result in the capture of about 8 MM tons of CO2 equivalence each year.  The first plant is expected to be operational by early 2027 and will provide a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuel-based plastics.  The advantages of Citroniq’s solution are the use of proven technologies, production of a “drop in” production that is identical to conventional PP and 100% biogenic product that is not comingled with conventional product.  We believe a combination of solutions are required to meet the challenging objectives that companies are working towards and bioplastics are a key component in developing long-term carbon strategies. 

Daniel MacEachran, Global Head of Bioechnology, Braskem

Renewable chemicals and materials are a key component of Braskem’s strategy

Braskem has been a leader in the renewable materials space for over 15 years. We began investing in renewable technologies in 2007 and commissioned our first world-scale green ethylene plant in 2010. Since then Braskem has produced 200,000 tons of renewable ethylene every year, fixing and offsetting nearly 1 million tons of carbon dioxide every year. We continue to invest in renewable technologies as part of our core corporate strategy. Recently Braskem announced the expansion of green ethylene production at our Triunfo facility from 200kTA to 265kTA. More recently we announced our Joint Venture with SCG to expand our I’m green® PE technology to Thailand, the launch of our joint venture with Sojitz, Sustainea, for the production of renewable MEG, as well as our intention to commercialize green propylene technology in the US. With these partnerships, along with our more recent investments in our Renewable Innovation Center in Lexington, MA, Braskem is committed to offering clients renewable solutions and is forging a clear path to remain a leader in the renewable materials and chemicals field.

Amar Mohanty, Distinguished Research Chair in Sustainable Biomaterials, Ontario Agriculture College (OAC), University of Guelph

Bioplastics and Sustainable Biomaterials for a Circular Economy

Building a more resilient, circular, and low-carbon economy is at the core of world’s target in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, we are facing harmful environmental effects created by accumulation of plastics. While plastics found many applications that benefit food preservation and lower the transportation costs, the lack of plastic waste management is creating a pervasive environmental pollution. Today, we consume micro-plastics (<5 mm in size) in our water and in fish on our plate! The questions is, can we harness the benefits that plastic brings to the society, without harmful waste? We desperately need a “Second Age of Plastics” with new materials that can answer the needs of today and not jeopardize tomorrow’s generations. We have been developing plastics with lower carbon footprint that we call “Sustainable Polymers”. Our sustainable materials support Circular Economy and include polymers and their composites from wastes, recycled materials, bio-renewables and their combinations. Four key initiatives that can promote better use of sustainable materials in the markets include: 1. Regulatory framework to support bioplastics and sustainable materials; 2. Carbon tax credits that incentivize industry to lower their carbon footprint, with a clearly defined scientific criteria for life cycle analysis used to determine the carbon footprint for industry; 3. Consumer education with clear, simple and certified labels that prevent confusion and promote consistency at the consumer level; 4. Understanding the harm created by not using bioplastics and sustainable materials, in regards to the carbon footprint.

Sasisanker Padmanabhan, Senior Principle Scientist, Praj Matrix

Biopolymers: Ensuring A Sustainable Future Through Advance Biorefinery Approach

Polymers touch every facet of human life with their versatile applications. The transition from conventional fossil-based polymers to biopolymers signifies a transformative shift from fossil-fuel dependency toward bio-based feedstocks. Advanced biorefinery complex is a pivotal platform for the efficient valorization of every component of biobased feedstocks to produce combination of biofuels & biopolymers. Biopolymer production demands an end-to-end approach comprising feedstock pre-processing, production technology combining fermentation and chemical synthesis, application development, and link to the market. This necessitates the integration of microbiology, molecular biology, chemistry, and chemical engineering expertise. With 4 decades of experience in technology development, demonstration Praj is well-poised to integrate all the facets of this approach. Two significant areas of commodity chemicals where biopolymers can make a dent are Plastics and synthetic rubber. The functionality of bioplastics and its biodegradable nature make it an attractive alternative to conventional plastics. Polylactic acid (PLA) and Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are versatile biopolymers with various applications in packaging for food, personal care products, and agriculture. Biobutadiene is a renewable and bio-based alternative to petroleum-derived butadiene, a vital component in the production of synthetic rubbers. Biobutadiene offers a alternative to the extremely volatile butadiene supply chain. In short, Biopolymers have a promising potential to become sustainable alternatives to conventional polymers. Through the integrated advanced biorefinery approach, biofuels & biopolymers will offer a greener and more resilient bioeconomy.

Lauren Scott, Director of Corporate Affairs, CJ Biomaterials

From Voices to Victory: Biomaterials Advocacy in a Dynamic Policy Landscape

Exploring the intricate landscape of bioplastics regulations, this presentation paints a landscape of the current policy environment and outlines key strategies for industry engagement. With a focus on state and federal policies, and their intersection, the presentation offers valuable insights for the bioplastics’ industry's future success.

Session 6: 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM: The Role of Biotech in Building a More Sustainable Economy

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Moderator: Kathryn Sheridan, CEO, Sustainability Consult


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Kenny Erdoes


DMC Biotechnologies

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Sébastien Hulin, Biotechnology Research Leader, Michelin

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Damien Perriman, Senior VP, Specialty Products, Geno

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Jason Webber

Corporate Development Director,

Solar Biotech

We need to rapidly deploy solutions which support consumer choices and help brands make more sustainable products available globally. Renewable chemicals are an important part of the solution to decarbonize and some proven technologies exist today, including at commercial scale. This panel will look at the role of renewable chemicals in building a more sustainable economy for the future. The panelists will discuss what will have to be true for biomanufacturing to have a material and positive impact on the economy and decarbonization, including the need to rapidly scale technologies and the potential to achieve widespread adoption. This no-nonsense panel with industry leaders will examine the factors working in the industry’s favor today and the obstacles slowing it down. Moderated by bioeconomy communications consultant Kathryn Sheridan, our panelists will lift the lid on the mess we’re in - from the climate emergency to the capacity crunch for scaling up biotechnology solutions - and share their thoughts and stories on the challenges and opportunities facing the industry today.

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