Meetings

BEPS 2018 25th Anniversary Meeting

I am pleased to announce that the 25th Anniversary meeting of the Bio-Environmental Polymer Society (BEPS) will be held August 15-17, 2018 (Wed-Fri) at Rensselaer Polytechnic University (RPI) (Troy, New York). All lectures will be held at RPI’s Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS), a state-of-the-art building with a dedicated conference center. Learn more about the CBIS here.

Due to the size of the conference rooms, total registrants is limited to 150. The conference is scheduled right before the National ACS Conference in Boston, MA (just a 3-hour drive) that begins on Sun, Aug 19.

Please register here

Organizing and Scientific Committees

Chairman: Richard A. Gross (RPI) and Co-Chairman: Jinwen Zhang (WSU, Pullman, WA)

Organzing Committee: Florent Allais (Chaire ABI - AgroParisTech); Amar Mohanty (Univ. of Guelph, Ontario); Greg Glenn (USDA, Albany, CA); Artur Cavac-Paulo (Univ. of Minho); Guo-Qiang Chen (Tsinghua University, China); Karl Sanford (DuPont Industrial Biosciences); Phillippe Dubois (UMONS); George W. Huber (University of Wisconson-Madison); Michel Gagné (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); Ed de Jong (Avantium Chemicals BV, Amsterdam The Netherlands); Karl A. Schoene (Elevance Renewable Chemicals, Woodridge, IL, USA)

Symposium Topics

  • Progress on Commercialization Efforts of Biobased Monomers, Polymers and Corresponding Materials
  • Polymers used for applications in foods, nutrition and agriculture
  • Innovations in chemical and biocatalytic routes to monomers and polymers
  • Progress on commercialization
  • Green Chemical Catalysts for biobased monomer and polymer synthesis
  • Biocatalytic routes to natural polymers
  • Modification of natural polymers to tune physical and biological properties
  • Metabolic and protein engineering to develop catalysts for Green Polymer Chemistry
  • Biofibers
  • Nanocomposites
  • Green routes for polymer chemical or enzymatic recycling
  • Innovative Developments in processing bio-based plastics
  • Innovative Chemical Processes for conversion of lignocellulose to value added products.
  • Biopolyesters
  • Protein-based materials
  • Carbohydrate-based Materials
  • Biobased macromers
  • Biobased composites, coatings, structural materials
  • Life-cycle analysis of biobased processes
  • Studies of Polymer biodegradability (soil, marine, compost, anaerobic digestion) and other end-of-life options
  • Process Developments (e.g. continuous bioprocesses, downstream aspects)

Conference Program Agenda

Wed, Aug 15 (Conference Room Auditorium)

Time Description
08:00 Continental Breakfast
08:45 Introductory Remarks


Welcome – Richard A. Gross, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Session I. Andreas Kuenkel, BASF, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, DEU

Time Description
09:00 1. Blake Simmons, Division Director, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA. “Solubilization and upgrading of polyethylene terephthalate using a bifunctional ionic liquid”
09:40 2. Amar K. Mohanty, University of Guelph, ON, CAN. “Innovation and commercialization of biocarbon for advanced green manufacturing”
10:20 Coffee Break
10:40 3. Antonio J. Capezza, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, SWE. “Novel absorbent materials obtained from plant proteins”
11:10 4. John La Scala, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, USA. “Renewably derived photopolymers for additive manufacturing”
11:40 5. Ica Manas-Zloczower, Case Western Reserve University, OH, USA. “Design and formulation of biobased structural adhesives”
12:10 Lunch on your own


Session II-A. Processing/Manufacturing of Biobased Materials – Concurrent Session (Conference Room Auditorium)

Chair: Amar Mohanty, University of Guelph, ON, CAN

Time Description
13:15 6. Nandika D’Souza, CENG Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Regents Professor, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA. “Sound and thermal insulation from fully biobased foam insulation using environmentally benign processing.”
13:45 7. Tony Bova, CEO & Co-Founder, Grow Bioplastics, Knoxville, TTN, USA. “Development of lignin-based biodegradable plastic alloys via solvent free reactive compounding and extrusion”
14:15 8. Gregory Glenn, USDA-ARS, Bioproducts Research Unit, Albany, CA, USA. “Rapid molding process of starch/fiber composites.”
14:45 Coffee Break


Chair: Gregory Glenn, USDA-ARS, Bioproducts Research Unit, Albany, CA, USA

Time Description
15:05 9. Kousuke Tsuchiya, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, Yokohama, Kanagawa, JPN. “Enhancing mechanical property of silk materials by polypeptide additives.”
15:35 10. Charlie Martin, Leistritz Extrusion, “Processing developments to compound and devolatilize bioplastic formulations via twin screw extrusion.”
16:05 11. Mikael Skrifvars, Textiles, Engineering and Business University of Borås Allegatan, Borås, SWE. “Development of all cellulose biocomposites by using ionic liquids and end-of-life textiles.”


Session II-B. Synthetic Biobased Polyesters – Concurrent Session (Conference Room Bruggerman)

Chair: Carmen Scholz, The University of Alabama, Huntsville, AL, USA.

Time Description
13:15 12. Philip Mörbitz, Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT, Oberhausen, DEU. “Linear and branched polycaprolactone-block copolymers as non-migrating plasticizers for poly(lactic acid).”
13:45 13. Zhigang Wang, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui Province, CHN. “Synthesis of PLA-based biodegradable triblock copolymer elastomers with tunable mechanical properties.”
14:15 14. Alessandro Pellis, University of York, Heslington, York, GBR. “Chemo-enzymatic tools for the green synthesis of biobased polyesters.”
14:45 Coffee break


Biobased Packaging Solutions

Chair: Amar Mohanty, University of Guelph, ON, CAN

Time Description
15:05 15. Manju Misra, University of Guelph, ON, CAN. “Sustainable green packaging: global transition towards a circular economy.”
15:35 16. Carmen G. Boeriu, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, Wageningen, NLD. “Design and biosynthesis of stimuli-responsive biopolymers.”
16:05 17. Qiang Liu, Guelph Research and Development Centre, ON, CAN. “Development of plant protein-based bioplastic for food packaging material uses.”
16:35 Social-Appetizers, Hors d’œuvres, and Snacks, wine, and beer. Poster Viewing
19:00 Dinner on your own


Thu, Aug 16 (Conference Room Auditorium)

Time Description
08:00 Continental Breakfast
08:45 Introductory Remarks


Session III. Chair: Gregg Beckham, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL, Golden, CO, USA.

Time Description
09:00 18. Florent Allais, Director of the Chaire Agro-Biotechnologies Industrielles (ABI), AgroParisTech, Reims, FRA. “Chemo-enzymatic functionalization of lignicellulose-derived building blocks: access to sustainable additives, monomers and polymers.”
09:40 19. George Guo-Qiang Chen, Tsinghua University, Beijing, CHN. “Next Generation Industrial Biotechnology for PHA Production.”
10:20 Coffee Break


Chair: Sonja Salmon, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA

Time Description
10:40 20. Artur Manuel Cavaco Paulo, Universidade do Minho, Braga, PRT. “Polymer biocatalysis for pharma and cosmetics.”
11:10 21. Gregg Beckham, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL, Golden, CO, USA. “New biopolymers from bacterial aromatic catabolism.”
11:40 22. Oliver Thum, Evonik Creavis GmbH, Marl, DEU. “Novel methods for biotechnological monomer production.”
12:10 Lunch on your own


Session IV-A. Polymer Biocatalysis – Concurrent Session (Conference Room Auditorium)

Chair: Oliver Thum, Evonik Creavis GmbH, Marl, DEU

Time Description
13:15 23. Kechun Zhang, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN, USA. “Expanding the repertoire of biomaterials by synthetic biology.”
13:45 24. Mattheos Koffas, Rensselaer Polytechnic University, Troy, NY, USA. “Recombinant Corynebacterium glutamicum for poly( -glutamic acid) production.”
14:15 25. Keiji Numata, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, Yokohama, Kanagawa, JPN. “Enzymatic synthesis of structural protein-like polypeptides.”
14:45 Coffee Break


Chair: Katrina Cornish, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH, USA

Time Description
15:05 26. Ken Singer, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA. “Bio-based materials for opto-electronic applications.”
15:35 27. Adriana Kovalcik, Brno University of Technology, Brno, CZR. “Properties of biogenic PHA membranes originated from Burkholderia cepacia, Burkholderia sacchari and Pseudomonas putida using grape pomace medium.”
16:05 28. Carmen Scholz, The University of Alabama, Huntsville, AL, USA. “Affinity chromatography based on poly(amino acids).”
16:35 Social-Appetizers, Hors d’œuvres, and Snacks, wine, and beer. Poster Viewing


Session IV-B. Lignocellulose derived building blocks and Biomaterials_Concurrent Session (Conference Room Bruggerman)

Chair: Ica Manas-Zloczower, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA

Time Description
13:15 29. Youssef Habibi, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, LUX. “New biopolymers from renewable building blocks derived from low-molecular weight hemicelluloses.”
13:45 30. Richard Vendamme, Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), MOL, BEL. “Development of thermosetting polymers from lignin model compounds and depolymerized lignins.”
14:15 31. Joe Stanzione, Rowan University, Gloucester County, NJ, USA. “Taking advantage of nature’s building blocks for the advancement of bio-based polymers and composites.”
14:45 Coffee Break


Chair: Joe Stanzione. Rowan University, Gloucester County, NJ, USA

Time Description
15:05 32. Jinwen Zhang, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA. “Manipulating the modification method of lignin for diverse applications.”
15:35 33. Kelechukwu N. Onwukamike, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, DEU; Université de Bordeaux, FRA. “Sustainable cellulose solubilization and derivatization in a DBU/CO2 switchable solvent.”
16:05 34. Jin Zhu, Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo, CHN. “Research progress on furan based polymers.”
16:35 35. Tuan Liu, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA. “Bio-based vitrimers and their applications for coatings and adhesives.”*
17:05 Social-Appetizers, Hors d’œuvres, and Snacks, wine, and beer. Poster Viewing
18:30 Symposium Dinner


Fri, Aug 17 (Conference Room Auditorium)

Time Description
07:45 Continental Breakfast
08:15 Introductory Remarks


Session V. Chair: Artur Manuel Cavaco Paulo, Universidade do Minho, PRT.

Time Description
08:30 36. Brent M. Peyton, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA. “Biogenic thermostable polymers and polymer transforming enzymes.”
09:10 37. Katrina Cornish, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH, USA. ” Natural rubber, rubbery bioplastics, and waste-derived reinforcing fillers.”
09:50 Coffee Break


Chair: Jinwen Zhang. Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA.

Time Description
10:10 38. George John, The City College of New York, NY, USA. “Bio-derived molecular materials: ability to adapt, clean, edible and therapeutic.”
10:40 39. Open Lecture
11:10 40. Florian Graichen, Scion, Bay of Plenty, NZL. “Advanced biobased products - combining sustainability with performance.”
11:40 41. Kaichang Li, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA. “Development and commercialization of vegetable oil-based pressure sensitive adhesives.”
12:10 Lunch on your own


Session VI-A. Biofibers – Concurrent Session (Conference Room Auditorium)

Chair: Youssef Habibi. Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, LUX

Time Description
13:15 42. Yulin Deng, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA, USA. “Novel nanocellulose materials: aerogels, filament and their surface modification.”
13:45 43. Hai Haham, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA. “The role of nanocrystalline cellulose in biobased polymeric films and foams.”
14:15 44. David Grewell, Iowa State University, IA, USA. “Fully biobased insect repellant PLA fabrics.”
14:45 Coffee Break


Chair: Yulin Deng, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Time Description
15:05 45. Long Jiang, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, USA. “Rubber nanocomposites reinforced by cellulose nanofibers.”
15:35 46. Francesco Branda, University “Federico II” of Napoli, P.le Tecchio 80, Naples, ITA. “Silica coated hemp fabrics and microfibers through an ecofriendly process.”
16:05 47. Srikanth Pilla, Clemson University, Greenville, SC, USA. “Cellulose nanocrystal reinforced PHBV nanocomposites prepared by melt extrusion: a comparison of coupling agent and in-situ grafting strategies.”
16:35 48. Hyun-Joong Kim, Seoul National University, Seoul, KOR. “Fabrication of electrical conductivity and transparency of BC-based nanocellulose
17:05 Symposium Ends


Session VI-B. Biodegradability, Recycling and Related Socio-Technical Aspects – Concurrent Session (Conference Room Bruggerman)

Chair: Florian Graichen, Scion, Bay of Plenty, NZL

Time Description
13:15 49. Andreas Kuenkel, BASF, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, DEU. “Fundamental understanding of biodegradability.”
13:45 50. Christopher Barrett, McGill University, Montreal, QC, CAN. “Light-responsive polymers as photo-reversible soft-bonding materials.”
14:15 51. John van Leeuwen, EcoSynthetix Inc, Burlington, ON, CAN. “Biomaterials, sustainability and global warming: an entrepreneur’s perspective after 20 years in the trenches.”
14:45 Coffee Break


Chair: Richard A. Gross, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA

Time Description
15:05 52. Alison Flynn, Omnis Mineral Technologies, Santa Barbara, CA USA. “Use/abuse of degradable plastics in agriculture.”
15:35 53. Ramani Narayan, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI, USA. “Plastics biodegradability “fake news”- the case against misleading plastics biodegradability claims in literature and market place - an interactive conversation with attendees.”*
16:05 Symposium Ends


Poster Presentations

P01. Carmen G. Boeriu, (Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, Wageningen, NLD), Water-souble chitosan derivatives and pH-responsive hydrogels by selective C-6 chemo-enyzmatic modification
P02. Tristan Borchers, (McGill University, Montreal, QC, CAN), Developing ‘soft-bonded’ composite materials from hydrophilic polymers and dyes
P03. Kayrel Edwards, (McGill University, Montreal, QC, CAN), Preparing hydrogen-bonded photo-reversible polymer materials
P04. Choon Pin Foong and Keiji Numata, (RIKEN, Yokohama, Kanagawa, JPN), Synthetic spider silk protein synthesized by a new photosynthetic microbial cell factory
P05. Robert Centore and Richard A. Gross, (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA), Protease catalyzed peptide synthesis: improving control of peptide structure
P06. Xue Wang and Richard A. Gross, (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA), Biobased epoxy resins from levulinic acid
P07. Fei Liu and Richard A. Gross, (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA), Ultra-thin bacterial cellulose films: synthesis and applications
P08. Amanda Koh and Richard A. Gross, (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA), Modified sophorolipids: interfacial properties and emulsification of model oils
P09. Fei Liu and Richard A. Gross, (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA), Antimicrobial properties of modified sophorolipids
P10. Danielle Froio-Blumsack, (Food Protection and Innovative Packaging Team, Natick Army Research Center, Natick, MA, USA), A study of biocomposites for flexible packaging applications

Location Information

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is located in Troy, NY, on a 275-acre hilltop campus overlooking the Hudson River. In the midst of a culturally rich population center surrounded by the Adirondack, Catskill, Berkshire, and Green mountains, the Rensselaer campus is only a few hours by car from Boston, New York City, and Montreal. Within easy driving distance from campus, Rensselaer students, faculty, and staff enjoy world-class alpine and cross-country skiing, hiking, camping, sailing, biking, golf, whitewater kayaking, and more.

INSERT PHOTO NY STATE CAPITAL    Albany New York Greater Capital Region, just 10 minutes from Troy New York. The center of the photo shows the New York State Capitol where, on the right, you can see the Egg, a part of the beautiful Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza.


INSERT PHOTO TROY FARMERS MARKET    The Farmers Market every Saturday morning in downtown Troy. It offers a wonderful experience to enjoy the local community. Vendors offer a diverse selection of fruits and vegetables from several different local farms plus many different stands selling everything from pickles, flowers, coffee, beer and wine. Usually there is live entertainment by local talent too!


For lunch on your own…


INSERT PHOTO MCNEIL ROOM    The true heart of campus (geographically speaking) is just a 3-minute walk from CBIS. Self service dining room style, comfortable tables/seating.


INSERT PHOTO MOE’S GRILL    Southwest Style Fresh Burritos, Tacos & Fajitas, Rice Bowls, etc. Located across the street from CBIS.


A short drive (5-10 min)…

  • Dinosaur Bar-B-Que - Troy, 377 River St, Troy, NY, 12180, USA     The Syracuse-based barbecue phenomenon plunked a sprawling roadhouse with all the familiar back-road casual feeling (wood décor). Great food, but may be heavy for lunch.
  • Notty Pine Tavern, 2301 15th St, Troy, NY, 12180, USA     Good food in a sit down informal setting. The Notty Pine has been serving the Capital Region since 1945 and has a long history of providing the best pizza, pasta, chicken wings and more (e.g., salads) at reasonable prices.

Additional options will be provided when you arrive for the meeting!

Lodging Information

Recommended Conference Hotels follow. Please note that group blocks are only guaranteed until July 16, 2018. If you intend to make a reservation using the group code, please do so before then.

  • Hilton Garden Inn Troy, 235 Hoosick Street, Troy, NY, 12180, USA, Tel: +1-518-272-1700     Just 15 minutes from Albany International Airport. Dining at the Garden Grille & Bar and Recovery Sports Grill. Complimentary shuttle to and from Albany International Airport and the University. Complimentary Wi-Fi and 24-hour business center Fitness center and indoor pool. Please use THIS link to reserve your room using our group code (BIOR).
  • Best Western Plus Franklin Square Inn Troy/Albany, One Fourth Street, Troy, NY, 12180, USA, Tel: +1 518-274-8800     Just 15 minutes from Albany International Airport and 0.4 miles from RPI and at the center of historic downtown Troy in walking distance to restaurants and Troy night life. Complimentary full breakfast. Indoor pool and exercise facility 24-hour. Free Wi-Fi available in public areas and all guest rooms. Business center. Please use THIS link to reserve your room using our group code (V87FS4G3).

Travel Information

  • Albany International Airport (ALB): Albany International Airport is located approximately 20 minutes from Rensselaer and offers service from a number of different airlines. Taxi service from the airport to Rensselaer is about $20-25.

  • Albany Bus Terminal: Greyhound Bus and Adirondack Trailways serve most of the state with express and local buses. The Albany Bus Terminal is located at 34 Hamilton St. Taxi service from the bus station to Rensselaer is about $20.

  • Albany-Rensselaer Train Station: Amtrak serves most cities of the state. The train stop serving Albany/Troy is the Albany-Rensselaer station, located directly across the Hudson River from Albany. Taxi service from the train station to Rensselaer is about $20.

  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR): Since there are limited flights to Albany International Airport and no direct flights from international airports, another option is to fly in Newark International Airport. If you rent a car, the drive to Conference hotels and RPI is about 2 hours and 50 minutes. You can also get from Newark Airport to RPI via Amtrak (Newark Liberty Airport Amtrak) that travels to Penn Station where you transfer to an Amtrak train that goes to RPI (about 2 hours and 30 minutes, about $45 USD if you book in advance (a couple of weeks).

  • You don’t need a car! Shuttle service from hotels will be available. If you do choose to rent a car, campus parking is available. Further information on campus parking will be provided closer to the conference date. Also, don’t forget about ridesharing services!

Registration Fees

Please register here.

  • Regular Attendee Early Bird: $300 USD (After May 15, $400 USD)

  • Student or Post-Doctoral Fellow Early Bird: $150 USD (After May 15, $225 USD)

  • Symposium dinner: $35 USD

Note: Early Bird registration has been extended until May 15th!!

Note: The registration cost does not cover the Symposium Dinner which can be registered for separately if desired.

If You Are Interested In Presenting:

ABSTRACTS: Present your research at the premier international conference dedicated to the growth and innovation of biopolymers. Papers are only being solicited for the Poster Session now. The Oral Sessions are full.

Abstract Format: The text should be single-spaced with 1” margins all around, and should be saved as MS Word or rich text format. The title should appear in bold capital letters, centered at the top of the page. The names and affiliations of all authors should be listed below the title, with the name of the presenting author underlined. The abstract should be sufficiently self-contained to be a useful future reference. Abstracts may contain a figure, graph or table but keep length to one page.

Please email submissions along with your affiliation to:

RICHARD A. GROSS, Ph.D
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
Department of Chemistry and Biology
Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, Constellation Chair
4005B BioTechnology Bldg
110 8th Street
Troy, NY, 12180
PHONE: 518-276-3734
FAX: 518-276-3405
E-MAIL: grossr@rpi.edu
http://homepages.rpi.edu/~grossr/index.htm


Last updated: 15 MAY 2018