Sandia’s R&D efforts towards net-negative biomanufacturing

D. Carrieri
Sandia National Laboratories,
United States

Keywords: biomanufacturing, renewable carbon resources, algae, lignin


Sandia National Laboratories is committed to exceptional service in the national interest which includes providing R&D to help decarbonize transportation and industrial sectors of the economy. Our research is aimed at enabling production of renewable, low carbon-intensity fuels and products from biomass and other renewable carbon resources. To achieve this, Sandia focuses on production and conversion of algae biomass, and conversion of organic wastes and lignocellulosic resources via chemical and biological routes. Algae has the potential to be a rich and abundant feedstock for production of sustainable aviation fuel and other bioproducts because of its low recalcitrance. Sandia’s efforts work to boost its potential as a stable and reliable purpose-grown energy crop and to convert its proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates to fuels and products. Sandia’s development of approaches in algae crop protection and stabilization of cultures with microbial consortia in both ponds and attached algae flow ways have helped increase productivity and resilience. Meanwhile, the complex nature of organic wastes and the high recalcitrance of components in it and lignocellulosic resources have motivated Sandia’s approaches for feedstock pretreatment, deconstruction, and subsequent valorization. Sandia works both independently and closely alongside other institutions to catalytically deconstruct plastic waste and lignin from bioresources so that the resulting components can be chemically or biologically upgraded to fuels and other products. Our efforts are guided by detailed engineering, system integration, and biorefinery analyses to inform opportunities in R&D that will enable production and conversion of feedstocks to fuels and chemicals through economical and low carbon-intensity processes. This presentation will overview recent efforts, highlighting achievements and needed next steps to accelerate deployment of the US Bioeconomy.