The International Conference on Thermochemical Conversion Science:
Biomass & Municipal Solid Waste to RNG, Biofuels & Chemicals

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The International Conference on Thermochemical Conversion Science:
Biomass & Municipal Solid Waste to RNG, Biofuels & Chemicals

September 10–12, 2024 | Westin Hotel, Itasca, IL

About tcbiomass

Since its inaugural event in 2009, tcbiomass has become a hallmark conference in the world of bioenergy. From the beginning, the role of event founder GTI Energy, a pioneering energy research and development organization, granted tcbiomass a unique position from which to unite R&D laboratories, industry and commercial interests, government agencies, and academic faculty and students.

+ View past tcbiomass conference proceedings

2019 Real World Solutions Through Green Technology

In 2019, representatives from 16 countries attended the sixth biennial tcbiomass conference that was expanded to include municipal solid waste (MSW) as a feedstock, and featured RNG as a product of thermochemical conversion. These topics synergized well with the original focus areas of the event and provided a more complete look at modern thermochemical conversion research.

In addition to the rich technical program, an outstanding lineup of keynote speakers featured Robert Baldwin, Principal Scientist, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Steve Csonka, Executive Director, Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), Gerhard Muggen, Managing Director, BTG Bioliquids BV (BTG-BTL), Robert C. Brown, Director, Bioeconomy Institute, Iowa State University, Alan Del Paggio, Business Manager IH2, Shell Catalysts & Technologies, and Jim Spaeth, Chair, IEA Bioenergy Technology Collaboration Program. Two engaging panel discussions provided a broader view of the bioenergy world, including the international regulatory environment and commercial trends.

Over 60 oral and more than 50 poster presentations were delivered in addition to a Student Poster Challenge. Long-time biomass researcher and advocate, Doug Elliott, retired Laboratory Fellow, Pacific Northwest Research Laboratory (PNRL) received the prestigious Don Klass award, and attendees enjoyed An Evening at GTI Energy, where they were treated to tours of GTI Energy’s campus, cuisine from the many diverse neighborhoods of Chicago and entertainment from a renowned Chicagoland cover band.

2017 The Global Future of Bioenergy

The fifth annual tcbiomass event, tcbiomass2017, reflected the conference theme, “The Global Future of Bioenergy,” in every aspect of its three-day program. Attendees hailed from 16 different countries spanning four continents: Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Oral and poster presenters echoed the diversity of the delegates, including the winners of the 2017 Student Poster Challenge, who represented universities in South Korea, the United States, and Italy.

tcbiomass2017 hosted parallel afternoon sessions each day of the conference which allowed the program to accommodate 66 technical presentations, plus keynote presentations from Vincent Chornet (Enerkem), Jonathan Male (U.S. Department of Energy), Ingvar Landälv (Luleå University of Technology), and Teemu Lindberg (UPM-Kymmene Corporation).

Participants also enjoyed a private Impressionist gallery viewing and a lively dinner at the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, the site of the tcbiomass2017 gala event.

2015 Technology for the Bioeconomy

Split into multiple tracks for the first time to accommodate its 65 technical presentations, tcbiomass2015 continued the conference’s record of participation growth and became the largest event thus far.

Over 130 posters showcased the work of the best and brightest scientists, engineers, professors, and students, selected by the 31 technical committee members. tcbiomass2015 also saw the highest-yet levels of international diversity, with attendees hailing from 20 countries and over 100 organizations, whie Frontier Laboratories’ sponsorship allowed the Student Poster Challenge to expand from one winner to three top prizes.

The gala dinner invited attendees and their guests to explore the Chicago History Museum, a venue that shone a spotlight on the host city and its rich and often colorful past.

2013 Making it Real

With research and industry organizations driving advanced conversion processes along the path to commercialization, “Making it Real,” the 2013 conference theme, reflected the continual improvement of conversion technologies to enable large-scale, efficient biofuel production.

A brand new virtual tour segment ushered tcbiomass2013 attendees through nine leading bioenergy sites around the globe, allowing an exclusive, up-close look at the facilities involved in thermochemical conversion. The event’s 38 technical presentations and 128 posters delved further into the details of ongoing research and development, and sparked productive exchanges between presenters and delegates.

In 2013, Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History hosted the gala dinner in the museum’s breathtaking main hall, giving attendees a tableside view of Sue, the world-famous Tyrannosaurus rex, as well as many of the Field Museum’s other featured exhibits.

2011 Keeping the Promising Science of Bioenergy Moving Forward

The second biannual event, tcbiomass2011, emphasized the importance of collaboration to the advancement of thermochemical conversion science. With the expansion of the technical program committee from five members to 17—representing 14 different research laboratories and five different countries—the planning process itself reflected the interchange of ideas between individuals and organizations.

In keeping with this theme, the program size also increased from 25 scientific presentations to 38, and from 50 technical posters to over 100. A welcome reception, breaks and lunches, and a gala dinner in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago provided attendees with crucial networking time.

tcbiomass2011 also marked the inception of the Student Poster Challenge, a competition that would connect engineering students with bioenergy experts, and allow top research students to be recognized for their work.

2009 Explore the Real-World Potential of Thermochemical Conversion

Inspired by an escalating interest in renewable energy in the U.S. and abroad, GTI Energy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and CANMET partnered to organize tcbiomass2009. As biomass-derived fuels gained recognition as a promising source of renewable and sustainable energy, tcbiomass2009 offered the world’s leading researchers the opportunity to present their work on processes and technologies to a diverse audience.

tcbiomass2009 featured 25 scientific presentations and 50 technical posters, in addition to keynote addresses and panel discussions on each of the event’s four topic areas: gasification, pyrolysis, pretreatment, and upgrading.

Thanks to its dozens of museums, world-famous eateries, and other tourist-friendly destinations, Chicago proved to be a popular destination, and the city would become the conference’s permanent home.

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