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The Forest Bioproducts Division of the
American Institute of Chemical Engineers:

Chemical Engineers Building Better Lives
with Renewable Resources

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Trees: Living Factories Converting Solar Energy to Useful Materials

Welcome to the Forest Bioproducts Division of AIChE

We are a Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers for those interested in advancing their skills and knowledge pertaining to forest bioproducts, including energy and chemical from biomass using many different processes. Our scope includes technical issues related to biofuels, biorefineries, biomass processing, pulp and paper technology, black liquor recovery (a biofuel from forest byproducts in the paper industry), etc. Recently our programming has been dominated by the growing interest in sustainable energy from forest products, especially biorefineries that convert cellulose or other woody components into energy sources such as biodiesel or ethanol.

Formerly known as the Forest Products Division, our name was changed in April 2008 with AIChE approval to better emphasize our historical activities around bioproducts. For years, the Division has been sponsoring programming on bioproducts, biomass, biofuels, etc. After all, the forest products industries, especially the pulp and paper industries, have long relied on recovered energy from biomass and have been at the forefront of extracting value from lignocellulosic materials. For example, much of the technical know-how in conversion of cellulose to ethanol has come from engineers and scientists in forest products, such as the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, which began work on obtaining ethanol from cellulose roughly one century ago. Now we have adjusted our name to better reflect who we've been for a long time.

Leadership Changes in the Division: 2014 News

After three years of service, Dr. B.V. Ramarao has stepped down as Chair and that position is now held by Dr. Shri Ramaswamy, Professor and Head of the Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Department at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Junyong Zhu now assumes the role of Vice Chair and Dr. Shijie Liu is our Secretary and Program Chair. The complete list of Division leaders can be seen on our leadership page. We also have had some changes in our directors as a result of our recent elections. Directors play a vital role in shaping our decisions, our programming, and our interactions with other groups. If you would like to play a leadership role with us int he future, get involved and let us know.

Supplementing our leadership page is a page of biographical information about our leaders.

Message from the New Chair, Shri Ramaswamy, March 2014

Welcome to the Forest and Plant Bioproducts Division of the AICHE! Our division has a long standing history of serving the forest and plant bioproducts industrial and academic community. Our division is committed to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge related to bioproducts. Bioproducts or bio-based products include the materials, chemicals, fuels and energy that can be sustainably derived from the renewbale biological resources. These include conventional bioproducts such as forest products, pulp and paper and emerging bioproducts such as biofuels, bioenergy, biomaterials, biochemicals, biopolymers, and biocomposites etc. If you are interested in contributing to the sustainable use of renewable resources and enhancement of the enviroment, please join our division and help promote the advancement of our field and provide leadership to our community.

Thank you

--Shri Ramaswamy, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Department, University of Minnesota

Dr. Ramaswamy and the other leaders of the Division agree that this is a great time for the Division as our mission and work of the past decade becomes more relevant every day. Bioenergy and advanced bioproducts from forest resources and other renewable resources are more important than ever. Thanks to chemical engineers like those in our Division, bioenergy and other forest bioproducts will play an increasing role in the future.

We encourage you to become a dues-paying member (just $9 a year) and get involved in our programming and our networking opportunities. Be sure to attend the Annual Meeting and some of our events there.

Our Purpose

The Forest Bioproducts Division fosters sharing of technical knowledge about forest bioproducts, biorefineries, many technical aspects of the pulp and paper industries, and associated technologies involving cellulose and other forest products. We provide technical sessions, Webinars, and networking opportunities to promote these areas and help engineers and scientists advance their skills, knowledge, and capabilities. We also coordinate with other divisions dealing with related areas to strengthen AIChE's role and to promote the exchange of ideas and knowledge.

The Division has been evolving to be increasingly focused on renewable bioproducts, including biorefineries and other engineering issues involving bio-based materials that go beyond forests per se to also include biomass issues, etc. Take a look at our technical program to get a feel for these directions.

There are about 150 members in the Division representing academia, industry, and other groups. The most visible work of the Division is in sponsoring and organizing multiple technical sessions at national AIChE meetings, often collaborating with TAPPI and other groups. These technical sessions provide forums for the exchange of information about new technical developments in the forest bioproducts industries.

Upcoming changes for the Division include the introduction of regular Webinars from technical experts and others to increase the opportunities for Division members to stay on top of this rapidly evolving field. An annual meeting just isn't enough to meet the needs of Division members, so stay tuned on information about Webinars and other opportunities.

The 2014 AIChE Annual Meeting:
November 16-24, 2014, Atlanta

The 2014 AIChE Annual Meeting, with over 4,000 attendees from all over the world expected to attend, will be held in Atlanta this year, November 16-24, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and the Hilton Atlanta. We've been there before and it's a great location for this conference. We are working on a wide variety of sessions for the conference spanning the whole supply chain for forest products. If you are interested in energy, fuels of the future, and sustainable materials, come participate with the sessions we are sponsoring and co-sponsoring.

The 2013 AIChE Annual Meeting:
November 3-8, 2013, San Francisco

The AIChE Annual Meeting, with over 4,000 attendees from all over the world expected to attend, was held November 3-8 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, San Francisco, CA. The theme was "Global Challenges for Engineering a Sustainable Future." Here are the sessions we sponsored in 2013:

2013 Technical Programming by the Forest Bioproducts Division

T4A08: Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass I
Chairs: Sunkyu Park and Song-Charng Kong

T4A10: Recalcitrance of Woody Biomass
Chairs: Subramanian Ramakrishnan and Maobing Tu

T4A09: Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass II
Chairs: Catherine E. Brewer and Sunkyu Park

17001: Innovation in Sustainable Forest Products
Chairs: Bandaru V. Ramarao and Shuangfei Wang

T4A11: Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass III
Chairs: Sushil Adhikari and Shri Ramaswamy

17000: Poster Session: Sustainable Forest Bioresources Engineering
Chair: Bandaru V. Ramarao

17002: Biobased Materials I: Bioinspired Materials
Chairs: Yulin Deng and Zhaohui Tong

T4A02: Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass IV
Chairs: Shri Ramaswamy and Yun-quan Liu

17003: Biobased Materials II: Cellulose-Based Materials
Chairs: Junyong Zhu and Yulin Deng

T4A00: Separation Processes in Biorefineries
Chairs: Bandaru V. Ramarao and Shri Ramaswamy

17004: Biobased Materials III: Lignin-Based Materials
Chairs: Amar K. Mohanty and Manju Misra

17005: Biobased Materials IV: Value-Added Coproducts
Chairs: Amar K. Mohanty and Manju Misra

T4A01: Biomass Characterization Pretreatment and Fractionation
Chairs: G. Peter van Walsum and Runcang Sun

17006: Biobased Materials V: Biopolymers and Composites
Chairs: Amar K. Mohanty and Manju Misra

T4A13: USA-China Progress in Biomass Technologies
Chairs: Bandaru V. Ramarao and Zhenhong Yuan

T4A00: USA-China Progress In Biomass Technologies II
Chair: Zhenhong Yuan

T4A03: Chemical Conversion Processes in Forest/Plant Biorefineries I
Chairs: Bin Liang and Sasidhar Varanasi

T4A04: Chemical Conversion Processes in Forest/Plant Biorefineries II
Chairs: Lu Lin and Weiming Yi

T4A05: Biochemical Conversion Processes in Forest/Plant Biomass Biorefineries I
Chairs: Minnan Long and Xiao Zhang

T4A06: Biochemical Conversion Processes in Forest/Plant Biomass Biorefineries II
Chairs: Shijie Liu Xu Zhang and Rajesh K. Sani

T4A07: Biochemical Conversion Processes in Forest/Plant Biomass Biorefineries III
Chairs: Shijie Liu and Vinod Srinivasan

The 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting: Pittsburgh, PA

The 2012 Annual Meeting was held October 28 - November 2 in Pittsburgh. It may have been the biggest and best AIChE Annual Meeting ever, with hundreds of sessions and over 4,000 participants from all over the world. The Forest Products Division offered strong array of technical sessions covering the most important parts of the supply chain for forest bioproducts and key areas of recent progress.

Here is the AIChE.org link to the Forest Bioproducts Division 2012 Programming Summary (https://aiche.confex.com/aiche/2012/webprogram/17.html). Also see the Biofuels Programming Area in the 2012 International Congress on Energy (ICE). The Division and its members are very active in supporting the International Congress on Energy. There is rich technical content available in these sessions. Thanks to the many session chairs and speakers participating!

The Andrew Chase Award

The Division has an annual award which is given to recognize service to the Division and to the forest products industry. The award is typically presented at our annual business meeting during the AIChE Annual Meeting. The 2012 Andrew Chase Award went to Jeff Lindsay, outgoing Chair of the Forest Bioproducts Division, for leadership over the Division from 2007 to 2011. The 2011 Andrew Chase Award was given to Dr. Theodore Wegner, Assistant Director for the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin, for his significant contributions in nanotechnology relevant to forest bioproducts. The 2010 Andrew Chase Award went to Dr. Gopal A. Krishnagopalan of Auburn University for many years of service to the forest bioproducts industry and for excellence in research, education, and service to the industry.

This is the official home page for the Forest Products Division of AIChE. It replaces the old AIChE FPD home page.

The URL is www.forest-products.org
Curator: Jeff Lindsay,   Contact:
Last Updated: Aug. 9, 2013
URL: "http://www.forest-products.org"