The 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival was in full swing in the "Big Easy" when the 34th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals opened at the Sheraton on Canal Street next to the French Quarter in New Orleans. The meeting, which ran from April 30 - May 3, had approximately 700 attendees from around the world who gathered to exchange information on biofuel. There were over 100 oral presentations and 400 posters given over a period of four days. The days were long, with meetings starting at 8:00 AM and poster presentations finishing up at 9:00 pm. Fortunately there was at least one afternoon free to enjoy the sights and sounds of this culturally diverse city. David Glassner from Gevo gave the Keynote address talking about the process of commercialization of biochemicals and how the use of biofuel has to follow the same model as conventional commercialization where a highly efficient cost effective large scale process is defined prior to the pursuit of biological solutions. The implication of which is that many investigators attempt the reverse by trying to fit a developed process into a business case. The meeting had multiple tracks running parallel with 18 different sessions, covering bacterial science and technology, biomass physicochemical analysis, enzyme science and technology, biomass treatment, algae, yeast, biofuel economics and many more. BioTek was one of 20 vendors exhibiting instrumentation and equipment useful for biofuel research and production. In addition, BioTek’s application group presented a poster describing the use of microplate technology for the screening of algal cell cultures.
|The French Quarter of New Orleans |