Media Advisory

Intl. biofuels meeting to draw scientists to San Francisco May 3-6

Contact: Robert Sanders, Media Relations
(510) 643-6998

24 April 2009

ATTENTION: Energy, environment, biotechnology and business writers


One of the world's most prestigious and established biofuels meetings, the 31st Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals, convenes May 3-6 in San Francisco, with more than 800 scientists expected to attend sessions on topics ranging from commercialization of biofuels and their long-term sustainability to emerging technologies and turning algae into fuel.

Media are invited to attend the four-day meeting and/or a Tuesday, May 5, afternoon forum highlighting the most newsworthy topics of the meeting and addressing some of the misconceptions about biofuels.


Sunday, May 3, through Wednesday, May 6, with an afternoon forum from 2 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5.


InterContinental San Francisco Hotel, 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, Calif. The Tuesday forum is in Grand Ballroom C, 3rd floor.


Forum speakers will include:

  • Jim McMillan, conference chair and manager, biochemical process research and development, National BioEnergy Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Panel 1 - Sustainability of a large-scale biofuels industry

  • Lee Lynd, professor, environmental engineering design, Dartmouth University
  • Bruce Dale, University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University; associate director, Office of Biobased Technologies

Panel 2 - Commercialization, deployment and development
  • Doug Cameron, Piper Jaffray Companies
  • Michael Ladisch, chief technology officer, Mascoma Corporation; professor of agricultural and biological engineering, Purdue University

Panel 3 - Potential and challenges of algae as a fuel source
  • Al Darzins, manager of applied science, National BioEnergy Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Panel 4 - Emerging technologies
  • Chris Somerville, director, Energy Biosciences Institute; UC Berkeley professor of plant and microbial biology
  • Brian Davison, chief scientist for systems biology and biotechnology, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); coordinator of biomass characterization and modeling, DOE BioEnergy Science Center, ORNL


The meeting is organized by the Society for Industrial Microbiology, hosted by NREL and ORNL, and sponsored by the Department of Energy's Biomass Program. This year's co-sponsors include EBI, NREL, ORNL, DOE's Joint BioEnergy Institute and other national laboratories and private companies.

Credentialed news media representatives are invited to attend the symposium at no registration charge. Reporters and writers must, however, e-mail either or in advance of the meeting to insure admission. The press room is the Patri room, 5th floor, InterContinental Hotel.