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Clare J. Dibble

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I am a staff engineer in the Biochemical Process R&D group of the National Bioenergy Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. I joined NREL in May 2008. My primary focus at NREL is on biochemical or low temperature routes, such as pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis, for clean sugar production from lignocellulosic biomass as intermediates to making biofuels.

I lead technical projects for industrial clients and Department of Energy programmatic research including lignocellulosic biomass pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis with industrial enzyme cocktails, component enzyme binding and threading, and solid-acid catalysis of biomass. I am interested in understanding and improving this process on length scales spanning from microscopic particle properties to thousands of liters in a pilot plant. I have mentored dozens of undergraduate and graduate students and was recognized with the DOE Office of Science Outstanding Mentor Award in 2010 through the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program.

Research Interests

  • Particle morphology, concentration, catalyst impregnation, and flow properties of lignocellulosic biomass as it is converted to sugars
  • Enzyme adsorption and activity
  • Fundamental measures to predict biomass recalcitrance
  • Process scale up and project management


Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2007. Dissertation title: Direct Observation of Particle Dynamics in Colloidal Depletion Gels, advised by M. J. Solomon.
M.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2004
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 2000, magna cum laude

Professional Experience

  • Engineer III, National Bioenergy Center, NREL, Golden, CO, 1/10-present
  • Post-Doctoral Researcher, National Bioenergy Center, NREL, Golden, CO, 5/08-1/10
  • Manager of Sensor Development, Life Science Research Instrument, SpheroSense Technologies, Inc., Bloomington, IN, 9/07-5/08
  • Adjunct Professor, Physical Science, Ivy Tech Community College, Bloomington, IN, Fall Semester 2007
  • Graduate Student Research Assistant, Chemical Engineering Department, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 8/02-4/07
  • Product Development Engineer, Beauty and Feminine Care, The Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, OH, 6/00-8/02


  1. Dibble, C. J.; Shatova, T. A.; Jorgenson, J. L; Stickel, J. J. (2011). "Particle Morphology Characterization and Manipulation in Biomass Slurries and the Effect on Rheological Properties and Enzymatic Conversion." Biotechnol. Progress (27); pp. 1751-1759.

  2. Pepiot, P.; Dibble, C. J.; Foust, T. D. (2010). "Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Biomass Gasification and Pyrolysis." Nimlos, M. R.; Crowley, M. F., eds. Chapter 12 in Computational Modeling in Lignocellulosic Biofuel Production. ACS Symposium Series (1052); pp. 273-298.

  3. Roche, C. M.; Dibble, C. J.; Stickel, J. J. (2009). "Laboratory-Scale Method for Enzymatic Saccharification of Lignocellulosic Biomass at High-Solids Loadings." Biotechnol. Biofuels (2:28).

  4. Roche, C. M.; Dibble, C. J.; Knutsen, J. S.; Stickel, J. J.; Liberatore, M. W. (2009). "Particle Concentration and Yield Stress of Biomass Slurries During Enzymatic Hydrolysis at High-Solids Loadings." Biotechnol. Bioeng. (104:2); pp. 290-300.

  5. Dibble, C. J.; Kogan, M.; Solomon, M. J. (2008). "Structural Origins of Dynamical Heterogeneity in Colloidal Gels." Phys. Rev. E (77:5); 050401.

  6. Kogan, M.; Dibble, C. J.; Rogers, R. E.; Solomon, M. J. (2008). "Viscous Solvent Colloidal System for Direct Visualization of Suspension Structure, Dynamics and Rheology." J. Colloid Interface Sci. (318:2); pp. 252-263.

  7. Dibble, C. J.; Kogan, M.; Solomon, M. J. (2006). "Structure and Dynamics of Colloidal Depletion Gels: Coincidence of Transitions and Heterogeneity." Phys. Rev. E (74:4); 041403.

  8. Lee, M.; Alcoutlabi, M.; Magda, J. J.; Dibble, C.; Solomon, M. J.; Shi, X.; McKenna, G. B. (2006). "The Effect of the Shear-Thickening Transition of Model Colloidal Spheres on the Sign of N-1 and on the Radial Pressure Profile in Torsional Shear Flows." J. Rheol. (50:3); pp. 293-311.

Contact Information

Clare J. Dibble
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
15013 Denver West Parkway MS 3511
Golden, CO 80401
Phone: 303-384-7817