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Chemical and Biological Process Development

Welcome!

Rick Orth
Rick Orth, Manager

...to the Chemical and Biological Process Development Group. Our scientists and engineers provide solutions and products to meet our clients' needs through the development of process technologies tailored to solving energy, security, and environmental problems.

We provide a full cycle of technology development—from basic research to applied process development, as well as licensing technology to industrial partners.

Research Teams

Catalysis and Reaction Engineering–develops and applies innovative catalysis and reaction engineering solutions for efficient use of underutilized carbon resources for the production of fuels and chemicals.

Fungal Biotechnology–identifies and develops new technologies based on a fundamental understanding of the filamentous fungi and other eukaryotic microbes.

Process Engineering and Development–provides a conduit for taking science to application. Promising scientific discoveries are evaluated across multiple scales to understand chemistry, kinetics, and to develop energy and material balances. This information is used to design process flow sheets, compute process economics, and evaluate lifecycle impacts.

  • Seawater yields first grams of yellowcake

    Start Your Engines - With Next-Generation Fuels from Co-Optima

    A national laboratory team identified new mixtures that combine bio- and petroleum-based fuels. These could deliver significantly improved performance and savings at the pump, while giving refiners and fuel producers more flexibility in making their products.

  • How Wastewater Treatment Plants Could Be Pumping Out Fuel Instead of Sludge

    How Wastewater Treatment Plants Could Be Pumping Out Fuel Instead of Sludge

    Researchers at PNNL have been developing hydrothermal liquefaction—or HTL—for the past four decades. With this technique, they can perform in about 30 minutes the same processes that naturally form fossil fuels over millions of years. The result is a biocrude that can be further refined into blendstock for conventional engine fuel.

  • From Breakfast to Biocrude: Study Identifies Production Potential across Nation

    From Breakfast to Biocrude: Study Identifies Production Potential across Nation

    Study sheds light on potential for waste to biofuel on a site-specific basis across the United States.

  • Elliott Receives Linneborn Prize for Biomass Research

    Elliott Receives Linneborn Prize for Biomass Research

    For outstanding contributions to the development of energy from biomass

  • Yong Wang

    Yong Wang Recognized by the American Chemical Society

    Yong Wang, an internationally renowned catalysis researcher, was recently honored by the American Chemical Society for innovative contributions to applied chemistry and/or chemical engineering.

  • Workers walk through the Mayak nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in Russia in the 1960s

    Ethanol to Butadiene in a Single Step

    Researchers at PNNL recently developed a new catalyst capable of converting ethanol—a grain alcohol fermented from many renewable sources, such as corn, switchgrass, algae, and even waste gas from steel mills—into butadiene.

  • Charting the Path for Catalyst Imaging

    Charting the Path for Catalyst Imaging

    Creating faster, more efficient catalysts to reduce costs and wastes requires clear and detailed observations of catalysts when reaction gases are introduced to STEM imaging. A new catalyst imaging method uncovered at PNNL provides a roadmap for scientists to reduce background diffraction from reaction gases.

  • No Coking Zone

    No Coking Zone

    A PNNL team evaluated different microscopy and spectroscopy methods to gain a clearer understanding of coking in catalysts. The team used X-ray absorption spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and atom probe tomography to map out the catalyst and identify the location and chemical nature of the coke during conversion of ethanol to high value fuel.

Chemical and Biological Process Development