Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Process Development Unit (ABPDU) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Emeryville, California
Company size: 20
Est. number of positions: 1

Opportunity for remote/virtual internship in 2023: No, in-person only



The Advanced Biofuels Process Development Unit (ABPDU) – within Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – is a research group specializing in process optimization, intensification, and scale-up for industrial biotechnology. At ABPDU, we partner with industry and national laboratory researchers to improve the efficiency and intensity of bioconversion technologies, integrate novel unit operations, and evaluate scale-up to 300 L fermentation. Our research helps de-risk technologies by enabling process development and piloting at an early stage of technology development, allowing small companies to raise funds and scale with confidence. In addition, we serve as a bridge between industrial partners and basic technology developers, helping to develop enabling technologies for the bioprocess industries, and matching emerging technologies with industry needs.


Internship Project

–This description represents a potential internship project and is subject to change.–

(Updated 11/4/22)

The Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Process Demonstration Unit (ABPDU) from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab is looking for students to work within the fermentation team. The student will work on research assignments across multiple projects related to biomanufacturing from gases. The projects are focused on the use of electrochemistry and biological approaches to convert gaseous compounds into chemicals. Collaborators include Principal Investigators from the Biological Systems & Engineering (BSE) Division. The student will participate in gas fermentation projects that aim to optimize growth and jet fuel production in automated gas fermentation reactors. Additionally, the student will explore microbial electrochemical approaches to efficiently supply energy to microorganisms in the form of soluble C1 compounds.


  • Perform gas fermentation experiments to convert gases like carbon dioxide, hydrogen and carbon monoxide into jet fuels
  • Identify materials and perform electrochemical tests to convert gases into liquid intermediates
  • Support preparation and development of experiments, including activities such as media and material preparation, electrochemical tests and culture of microorganisms
  • Perform process development related tasks at 250 mL scale, including preparing media, batching bioreactors, calibrating equipment, sampling through the process, and operating real time sampling and in-line and off-line analytical equipment such as, Gallery, HPLC, GC and offgas analysis.
  • Assist with preparing presentations to report findings to collaborators and the larger ABPDU team.
  • Follow safety protocols and systems devised at the ABPDU. Contribute to organizing the lab and sustaining a strong safety culture at the ABPDU.
  • Maintain accurate and detailed scientific logbooks of all experiments performed (electronically) ensuring that others could duplicate results.
  • Work in collaboration with different teams including fermentation, analytical, and facilities teams at the ABPDU.