The Forest Bioproducts Division of the
American Institute of Chemical Engineers:
Chemical Engineers Building Better Lives
with Renewable Resources.
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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.
Message from the Chair,
Dr. Shri Ramaswamy
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.
–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.
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 AIChE Annual Meeting
Our biggest event of the year is the Annual Meeting. We just wrapped up another great week of meetings and information sharing at the 2018 Annual Meeting held October 28 to November 2, 2018 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The AIChE Annual Meeting is the premier educational forum for chemical engineers interested in innovation and professional growth. It features presentations from hundreds of experts in industry and academia. For the Forest Products Division, the sessions we sponsor cover the entire supply chain from raw materials to finished products or final energy productions, and involve many aspects of biorefineries, chemistry, energy processing, sustainability, business models, new products, process control, etc. If you are interested in energy, fuels of the future, and sustainable materials, come participate with the sessions we are sponsoring and co-sponsoring.