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.

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 Schedule

Time  Wed, Aug 15
08:00 Continental Breakfast
09:00 Introductory Remarks
09:15 Plenary Lecture 1
09:55 Lectures
10:30 Coffee Break
10:45 Lectures
12:00 Lunch on your own
13:15 Lectures
15:00 Coffee Break
15:20 Lectures
17:00 Social-Appetizers, Hors d’œuvres, and Snacks, wine, and beer. Poster Viewing
19:00 Dinner on your own

Time  Thu, Aug 16
08:00 Continental Breakfast
09:00 Plenary Lecture 2
09:40 Lectures
10:30 Coffee Break
11:00 Lectures
12:00 Lunch on your own
13:15 Lectures
15:00 Coffee Break
15:20 Lectures
16:00 Posters
18:30 Symposium Dinner

Time  Fri, Aug 17
08:00 Continental Breakfast
09:00 Plenary Lecture 3
09:40 Lectures
10:30 Coffee Break
11:00 Lectures
12:00 Lunch on your own
13:15 Lectures
15:00 Coffee Break
15:15 Lectures
16:30 Conference Ends


  • George Guo-Qiang Chen, (Tsinghua University, Beijing, CHN), Next Generation Industrial Biotechnology for PHA Production
  • Florent Allias, (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
  • Artur Manuel Cavaco Paulo, (Universidade do Minho, PRT), Polymer biocatalysis for pharma and cosmetics
  • Blake Simmons, (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA), Title, TBD.
  • Amar K Mohanty, (University of Guelph, ON, CAN), Sustainable Biocarbon Fillers from Pyrolyzed Biomass and Food Industry Wastes in Biocomposites Uses: Light-weight Auto-parts to Energy Storage Device


  • Gregg Beckham, (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL, Golden CO, USA), New biopolymers from bacterial aromatic catabolism
  • Carmen G. Boeriu, (Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, Wageningen, NLD), Design and biosynthesis of stimuli-responsive biolpolymers
  • Francesco Branda, (University “Federico II” of Napoli, P.Ie Tecchio 80, Naples, ITA), Silica coated hemp fabrics and microfibers through an ecofriendly process
  • Tony Brova, (CEO & Co-Founder, Grow Plastics, Knoxville, TN, USA), Development of lignin-based biodegradable plastic alloys via solvent-free reactive compounding and extrusion
  • Katrina Cornish, (The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH, USA), Natural rubber, rubbery bioplastics, and waste-derived reinforcing fillers
  • Yulin Deng, (Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA, USA), Novel nanocellulose materials: aerogels, filament, and their surface modification
  • Nandika D’Souza, (University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA), Sound and thermal insulation from fully biobased foam insulation using environmentally benign processing
  • Alison Flynn, (Omnis Mineral Technologies, Santa Barbara, CA, USA), Use/abuse of degradable plastics in agriculture
  • Greg Glenn, (USDA-ARS, WRRC, Albany, CA, USA), Rapid molding process of starch/fiber composites
  • Florian Graichen, (Scion, Bay of Plenty, NZL), Advanced biobased products - combining sustainability with performance
  • Youssef Habibi, (Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, Luxembourg), New biopolymers from renewable building blocks derived from low-molecular weight hemicelluloses
  • Hai Haham, (Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA), The role of nanocrystalline cellulose in biobased polymeric films and foams
  • Long Jian, (North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, USA), Rubber nanocomposites reinforced by cellulose nanofibers
  • George John, (The City College of New York, NY, USA), Bio-Derived Molecular Materials: Ability to Adapt, Clean, Edible and Therapeutic
  • Mattheos Koffas, (Rensselaer Polytechnic University, Troy, NY, USA), Recombinant Corynebacterium glutamicum for poly(γ-glutamic acid) production
  • Adriana Kovalcik, (Brno University of Technology, Brno, CZE), Properties of biogenic PHA membranes originated from Burkholderia cepacia, Burkholderia sacchari, and Pseudomonas putida using grape pomace medium
  • Andreas Kuenkel, (BASF, Ludwigshafen am Rein, DEU), Fundamental understanding of biodegradability
  • John La Scala, (Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, MD, USA), Renewably derived photopolymers for additive manufacturing
  • Kaichang Li, (Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA), Development and commercialization of vegetable oil-based pressure sensitive adhesives
  • Qiang Liu, (Guelph Research and Development Centre), Development of plant protein-based bioplastic for food packaging material uses
  • Charlie Martin, (Leistritz Extrusion), Processing Developments to Compound and Devolatilize Bioplastic Formulations via Twin Screw Extrusion
  • Gavin McIntyre, (CTO, Ecovative), Mycelium biomaterials and biocomposites
  • Manju Misra, (University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, CAN), Sustainable green packaging: global transition towards a circular economy
  • Philip Mörbitz, (Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMISCHT, Oberhausen, DEU), Linear and branched polycaprolactone-block copolymers as non-migrating plasticizers for poly(lactic acid)
  • 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
  • Keiji Numata, (RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, JPN), Enzymatic synthesis of structural protein-like polypeptides
  • Bill Orts, (USDA-ARS, WRRC, Albany, CA, USA), Application of biopolymers and green chemicals in home care and cleaning products
  • Srikanth Pilla, (Clemson University, Greenville, SC, USA), Cellulose nanocrystal reinforced PHBV nanocomposites prepared by melt extrustion: a comparison of coupling agent and in-situ grafting strategies
  • Alessandro Pellis, (University of York, Heslington, York, GBR), Chemo-enzymatic tools for the green synthesis of biobased polyesters
  • Carmen Schultz, (The University of Alabama, Huntsville, AL, USA), Affinity chromatography based on poly(amino acids)
  • Mikael Skrifvas, (Textiles, Engineering, and Business University of Borås Allegatan, Borås, SWE), Development of all cellulose biocomposites by using ionic liquids and end-of-life textiles
  • Ken Singer, (Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA), Bio-based materials for opto-electronic applications
  • Aaron Socha, (Queens University of Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA), Synthesis and evaluation of lignin-derived ionic liquids for biomass pretreatment
  • Joe Stanzione, (Rowan University, Gloucester County, New Jersey, USA), Taking advantage of nature’s building blocks for the advancement of bio-based polymers and composites
  • Oliver Thum, (Evonik Creavis GmbH, Marl, DEU), Title, TBD.
  • Richard Vendamme, (Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), MOL, BEL), Title, TBD.
  • John van Leeuwen, (EcoSynthetix Inc, Burlington, ON, CAN), Biomaterials, sustainability, and global warming: an entrepreneur’s perspective after 20 years in the trenches
  • Kechun Zhang, (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, USA), Expanding the repertoire of biomaterials by synthetic biology
  • Ica Manas-Zloczower, (Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA), Design and formulation of biobased structural adhesives

Poster Presentations

  • Carmen G. Boeriu, (Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, Wageningen, NLD), Water-souble chitosan derivatives and pH-responsive hydrogels by selective C-6 chemo-enyzmatic modification

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

  • 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.
  • 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.

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: $300 USD

  • Student or Post-Doctoral Fellow: $150 USD

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

Stay Tuned For The Following:

  • Additional speakers
  • Program Details
  • Registration Information
  • And more…

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 solicited for Oral Sessions as well as the Poster Session.

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:

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

Last updated: 10 Feb 2018