The growing concern about where energy rich chemicals for the future will come from has stimulated a resurgence of interest in the potentialities of microbial fermentations to assist in meeting anti cipated demands for fuels and chemicals. While much attention has been given recently to the early deployment of alcohol production plants and similar currently available technologies, the potential future developments have received much less attention. One of the intentions of the present symposium was to look ahead and try to perceive some of the prospects for future fermentation technology. In order to accomplish this, a symposium program of sizable diversity was developed with workers giving a representative cross section of their particular specialty as an indicator of the status of basic information in their area. In addition, an attempt was made to elicit from the various participants the types of fundamental infor mation which should be generated in the coming years to enable new fermentation technology to proceed expeditiously. In organizing the symposium particular effort was made to involve workers from the academic, industrial and governmental scientific communities.
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