BDC Spring, 2016 Symposium (March 30-31, Charleston, SC)


The BDC Symposium addressed Commercial Progress in the BioIndustry and the Progress of Cellulosic Sugar Production and Conversion.  Commercial progress reports were provided by:

  • Bob Graham of Ensyn,
  • Jerry Gargulak of Borregaard LignoTech, and
  • Peter Axegård of Innventia, who provided a view of European commercial progress.

The symposium was attended by a group of about 50 members and guests, providing for a good environment for discussion and networking among the diverse make-up of the group (see members).

The theme of the meeting was cellulosic sugar competitiveness.  Specifically, several companies are converting sugars to chemicals, but are using corn sugar due to the higher cost of cellulosic sugars.  Companies presenting were

  • Fiberight,
  • API,
  • Leaf Resources,
  • Renmatix,
  • Green Biologics,
  • Virent, Myriant, and
  • Glucan Biorenewables.

In general, the conclusion was that for cellulosic sugars to be cost competitive, they need to be part of a mix of higher value products that will allow the costs to be shared and returns to be adequate.  The conversion processes will also likely need to be co-located to eliminate the need to concentrate the sugars and reduce the transportation costs.

Each symposium includes a success story from the bioindustry.  Our success story following the banquet on Wednesday night was DuPont, who have started up the cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa.  The impressive approach to scaling up to prove the approach and solve problems along the way as well as work with the farmers to establish a continuous feedstock supply warranted BDC to give DuPont their Outstanding Achievement Award for their continuous contributions to the deployment of advanced cellulosic biofuels and biochemicals.

  • Steve Mirshak, Director of Cellulosic Ethanol for DuPont Industrial Biosciences, told DuPonts story and accepted the award.

On Thursday morning, BDC toured the highly successful Ingevity Biorefinery plant in North Charleston, which included their tall oil fractionation plant, their lignin fractionation plant and their new innovation center for testing new methods.  Ingevity was the MWV Specialty Chemicals company, which is being spun off from WestRock (the recent merger of MWV and RockTenn).


BDC (, since 2006, has worked to bring together like minded companies to share ideas and partner to deploy bio-processes that can be economic in the long run without government subsidy, by holding two symposiums a year for its members, where leading edge information from various bio-companies is shared and tours are made of bio-facilities.  BDC also acts as a resource to members and works to broker partnerships that can lead to the deployment of economic demonstration and commercial facilities.  BDC recognizes the need for low cost feedstock, cost effective measures such as integration of processes, high value products, and good management to achieve the economics needed for success.

The success of the meeting is due to a combination of the mission of the organization, the make-up and participation of the membership and guests, and the ingenuity and progress of the entrepreneurial management teams in the up and coming bio-industry.

BDC 2016 Spring Symposium Agenda 031616

2016, Mar, BDC Spring Symposium, Charleston Attendee List

2016, Mar, BDC Outstanding Achievement Award Presented to DuPont



1 Cellulosic Sugars - Past, Present, & Future - Vonnie Estes, and article referenced, NREL Chemicals from Biomass - A Market Assessment of Bioproducts with Near-Term Potential

2 Update on RFS2 - Paul Argyropoulos, EPA

3 US Navy Green Fleet & BioFuel Usage - Chris Tindal

4 USDA Update - Todd Campbell

5 DOE Update - Elliott Levine

6 Commercial Progress in North & South America - Bob Graham Ensyn

7 Update on Borregaard BioRenewable Projects - Jerry Gargulak

8 Commercial Progress in Europe - Peter Axegård Innventia

9 MSW to Sugars - Nick Thompson Fiberight

10 AVAP - A Breakthrough Fractionation Platform - Mikhail Iakovlev API

11 Leaf Resources Glycell Process - Marc Sabourin

12 The Whole Bio-Barrel - Jeremy Austin Renmatix

13 Conversion from Ethanol to Butanol - Tim Staub, Green Biologics

14 Biomass Sugars to Chemicals & BioFuels - Andrew Held Virent

15 Sugar-Based Chemical Building Blocks - David LeBlanc Myriant

16 GlucanBio Flexible Product Mix - Jeff Fornero

17 Ingevity Tour Information - Stacy Jordahl

18 DuPont Industrial BioSciences Creating A Sustainable Future - Steve Marshak



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