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Richard L. Bain

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Richard Bain is a Principal Engineer in the National Bioenergy Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. He has worked at NREL since 1990 and has extensive experience in the thermal conversion of biomass, municipal wastes, coal, and petroleum. He is a lead researcher in the area of production of transportation fuels and hydrogen via thermochemical conversion of biomass; technical advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on biofuels demonstrations; and Task Leader for the International Energy Agency Bioenergy Annex Biomass Gasification Task.

Dr. Bain manages biomass gasification research activities for the Fuel Cell Technologies Program at NREL and coordinates support to the USDA for advanced biofuels. He is a committee member for the National Academy of Engineering Committee on U.S.-China Cooperation on Electricity from Renewables. He is serving as the Task Leader for the IEA Biomass Gasification Task for the 2010-2012 triennium. He conducts extensive stakeholder outreach activities through conference presentations, assistance to the DOE Technical Assistance Program, and AIChE short courses.

Research Interests

  • Biomass gasification
  • Biomass pyrolysis
  • Syngas cleanup and conditioning
  • Advanced biofuels
  • Advanced biopower
  • Technoeconomic analysis of biofuels and biopower technologies
  • Sustainability and life cycle analysis

Education

Ph.D. (1973), M.S (1971), P.E. (1968), Chemical and Petroleum Refining Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO

Professional Societies

American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Professional Experience

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO 1990–Present

  • Principal Engineer 2008–Present
  • Principal Research Supervisor 2006–2008
  • Group Manager and Principal Researcher 2003–2006
  • Senior Engineer II, Chemical 1997–2003
  • Manager, Biomass Power Program 1991–1997
  • Senior Process Engineer 1990–1991

Bain and Associates, Golden, CO

  • Principal 1989–1990

Resource Technology Associates, Boulder, CO

  • Director of Energy Development 1984–1989

Pentanyl Technologies, Boulder, CO

  • Director of Research 1981–1984

Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO

  • Assistant Research Professor 1975–1981

Garrett R&D Company (Occidental Research Corp.), La Verne, CA

  • Chemical Engineer 1974–1975

Contact Information

Richard Bain, Ph.D.
Principal Engineer
National Bioenergy Center
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, MS 3317
15013 Denver West Parkway, Golden, CO 80401-3393
Phone: +01 303-384-7765
Fax: +01 303-384-7951
Email: richard.bain@nrel.gov

Publications and Patents

Dr. Bain is the author or co-author of numerous technical publications and holds several patents.

Publications

Dutta, A.; Bain, R.; Biddy, M. (2010). "Techno-Economics of the Production of Mixed Alcohols from Lignocellulosic Biomass via High Temperature Gasification." Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy (29:2); pp. 163-174.

Carpenter, D. L.; Bain, R. L.; Davis, R. E.; Dutta, A.; Feik, C. J.; Gaston, K. R.; Jablonski, W.; Phillips, S. D.; Davis, M. R. (2010). "Pilot-Scale Gasification of Corn Stover, Switchgrass, Wheat Straw, and Wood : 1. Parametric Study and Comparison with Literature." Industrial Engineering Chemistry Research (49); pp. 1859 -1871.

Holmgren, J.; Marinangeli, R.; Nair, P.; Elliott, D.; Bain, R. (2008). "Consider Upgrading Pyrolysis Oils into Renewable Fuels." Hydrocarbon Processing (87:9).

Bain, R. L. (2008). "Biofuels Production: Process Technical and Economic Characterizations."
Prepared for the Chemical Information (CINF) Symposium: Engineering the Transition to the Bioeconomy. Spring ACS National Meeting, Division of Chemical Information, April 2008, New Orleans, LA. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society.

Holmgren, J.; Marinangeli, R.; Nair, P.; Elliott, D.; Bain, R. (2008). "Converting Pyrolysis Oil to Renewable Transport Fuels: Processing Challenges & Opportunities." NPRA Paper AM-08-81. Prepared for the 106th NPRA Annual Meeting, March 11, 2008, San Diego, CA. Washington, DC: National Petrochemical and Refining Association.

Bain, R. L. (2007). World Biofuels Assessment; Worldwide Biomass Potential: Technology Characterizations (Milestone Report). 164 pp.; NREL Report No. MP-510-42467. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Decker, S. R.; Sheehan, J.; Dayton, D. C.; Bozell, J. J.; Adney, W. S.; Hames, B.; Thomas, S. R.; Bain, R. L.; Czernik, S.; Zhang, M.; Himmel, M. E. (2007). "Biomass Conversion." Kent, J. A., ed. Kent and Riegel's Handbook of Industrial Chemistry and Biotechnology (Eleventh Edition). New York, NY: Springer; Vol. 2; pp. 1449-1548.

Magrini-Bair, K. A.; Czernik, S.; French, R.; Parent, Y. O.; Chornet, E.; Dayton, D. C.; Feik, C.; Bain, R. (2007). "Fluidizable Reforming Catalyst Development of Conditioning Biomass-Derived Syngas." Applied Catalysis A: General (318); pp. 199-206.

Dayton, D. C.; Bain, R. L.; Phillips, S.; Magrini-Bair, K.; Feik, C. (2006). "Catalytic Tar Reforming for Cleanup and Conditioning of Biomass-Derived Syngas." Preprints-American Chemical Society Division of Petroleum Chemistry (51:1-2).

Bain, R. L.; Dayton, D. C.; Carpenter, D. L.; Czernik, S. R.; Feik, C. J.; French, R. J.; Magrini-Bair, K. A.; Phillips, S. D. (2005). "Evaluation of Catalyst Deactivation During Catalytic Steam Reforming of Biomass-Derived Syngas." Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research (44); pp. 7945-7956.

Bain, R. L. (2005). "USA Renewable Policies and Incentives," Chapter 19. Handbook: Biomass Gasification. Knoef, H. A. M., ed. Enschede, the Netherlands: BTG Biomass Technology Group; pp. 361-378.

Bain, R. L. (2004). "Overview of Biomass Gasification." Conference Proceedings of the 2004 AIChE Spring National Meeting, 25-29 April 2004, New Orleans, Louisiana (CD-ROM). New York: American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE); 6 pp.; NREL Report No. CP-510-35798.

Bain, R. (2004). "Overview of Biomass Combined Heat and Power Technologies." Prepared for the 2004 IEEE Power Engineering Society General Meeting, 6-10 June 2004, Denver, Colorado. Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); Vol. 2: pp. 1657-1659; NREL Report No. CP-510-35505.

Bain, R. L.; Amos, W. P.; Downing, M.; Perlack, R. L. (2003). Highlights of Biopower Technical Assessment: State of the Industry and the Technology. Report No. NREL/TP-510-33502. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Bain, R. L.; Amos, W. P.; Downing, M.; Perlack, R. L. (2003). Biopower Technical Assessment: State of the Industry and the Technology. Report No. NREL/TP-510-33123. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Bain, R. L., (2002). "The U.S. Department of Energy Small Modular Biopower Initiative," Prepared for Bioenergy 2002 – Bioenergy for the Environment, 22-27 September 2002, Boise, Idaho.

Bain, R. L., (2002). "The U.S. DOE Small Modular Biopower Initiative." Prepared for the 12th European Conference and Technology Exhibition on Biomass for Energy, Industry, and Climate Protection, June 2002, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Bain, R. L.; Overend, R. P. (2002). "Biomass for Heat and Power." Forest Products Journal (52:2).

Turn, S. Q.; Bain, R. L.; Kinoshita, C. M. (2002). "Biomass Gasification for Combined Heat and Power in the Sugar Cane Industry." International Sugar Journal (104:1242).

Bain, R. L.; Mancini, T. R. (2000). "Status of the U.S. Department of Energy Small Modular Biopower Initiative." Prepared for the 1st World Conference and Exhibition on Biomass for Energy and Industry, June 2000, Seville, Spain.

Overend, R. P.; Bain, R. L. (2000). "Biomass Gasification as a Pretreatment for Working with Natural Gas." Prepared for the 1st World Conference and Exhibition on Biomass for Energy and Industry, June 2000, Seville, Spain.

Bain, R. L., Craig, K. R.; Overend, R. P. (2000). "Gasification for Heat and Power, Methanol, and Hydrogen," Chapter 9.2. Rosillo-Calle, F., et al., eds. Industrial Uses of Biomass Energy. London, UK: Taylor and Francis; ISBN-0-7484-0884-3.

Bain, R. L.; Overend, R. P.; Craig, K. R. (1998). "Biomass-Fired Power Generation." Fuel Processing Technology (54); pp. 1-16.

Kinoshita, C. M.; Turn, S. Q.; Overend, R. P.; Bain, R. L. (1997). "Power Generation Potential of Biomass Gasification Systems." Journal of Energy Engineering (123); pp. 88-99.

Bain, R. L. (1997). "Biomass Gasification Activities in the United States: Country Report," in State of the Art Report on Biomass Gasification. Prepared by the European Union Concerted Action, Analysis, and Coordination of the Activities Concerning Gasification of Biomass (AIR3-CT94-2284) and IEA Bioenergy Utilization, Task XIII, Thermal Gasification of Biomass.

EPRI (December 1997). Renewable Energy Technology Characterizations. Bain, R., contributor. EPRI-TR-109496. Palo Alto, CA: Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA.

Bain, R. L.; Chum, H. C.; Overend, R. P. (1997). "The Impact of Biopower on Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States During the Period 1997-2020: An Analysis of Options." Prepared for Clean Products and Processes: An Engineering Foundation Conference, 1-5 June 1997, Bahia Hotel, San Diego, California.

Bain, R. L.; Craig, K. C.; Overend, R. P. (1997). "Biomass Gasification—Commercialization and Development: The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Option." Prepared for the 42nd ASME International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress, June 1997, Orlando, FL.

Bain, R. L.; Craig, K. R.; Overend, R. P. (1997). "United States Department of Energy Biomass Power Demonstration Programs." Ricketts, J., ed. Energy Business & Technology Sourcebook. Lilburn, GA: Fairmont Press (Association of Energy Engineers).

Bain, R. L.; Overend, R. P. (1996). "New Gasification Technology Offers Promise for Biomass Plants." Power Engineering (August 1996).

Craig, K. R.; Bain, R. L.; Overend, R. P. (1995). "Biomass Power Systems - Where are We, Where are We Going, and How Do We Get There? The Role of Gasification." Prepared for the EPRI Conference on New Power Generation Technology, 25-27 October 1995, San Francisco, CA. Palo Alto, CA: Electric Power Research Institute.

Overend, R. P; Bain, R. L. (1995). "Technical Support of the U.S. DOE Biomass Power Program in the Development of Biomass to Electricity Technologies." Presented at the 210th American Chemical Society National Meeting, 20-25 August 1995, Chicago, IL. Preprints-American Chemical Society Division of Fuel Chemistry (40:3); pp. 654-657.

Babu, S. P.; Bain, R. L.; Craig, K. R. (1995). "Thermal Gasification of Biomass, Technology Development in the USA." Seminar on Power Production from Biomass II. Organized by VTT, CEC-DG XII, IEA Biomass Agreement, 27-28 March 1995, Hanasaari Cultural Center, Espoo, Finland.

Phillips, V. D.; Liu, W.; Merriam, R. A.; Bain, R. L. (1994). "Short-Rotation Forestry as an Alternative Land Use in Hawaii." Biomass and Bioenergy (8:4); pp. 235-244.

Craig, K. R.; Mann, M. K.; Bain, R. L. (1994). "Cost and Performance Potential of Advanced Integrated Biomass Gasification Combined Cycle Power Systems." Prepared for CoGen Turbo Power '94, American Society of Mechanical Engineers' 8th Congress & Exposition on Gas Turbines in Cogeneration and Utility, Industrial and Independent Power Generation, 25-27 October 1994, Portland, OR.

Gregoire, C. E.; Bain, R. L. (1994). "Technoeconomic Analysis of the Production of Biocrude from Wood." Biomass and Bioenergy (7:1-6); pp. 275-283.

Gregoire, C.; Craig, K.; Bain, R. (1994). "Biopower Market Impact: Applying Advanced Technologies to Specific Needs." Prepared for Bioenergy '94: The Sixth National Bioenergy Conference, 2-6 October 1994, Reno, Nevada.

Reed, M. C.; Bain, R. L.; Wiles, C. C. (1994). "Energy From Wastes and Biomass: An Overview of DOE Programs." Prepared for the 29th Intersociety Energy Conversion Conference, 8 August 1994, Monterey, CA.

Bain, R. L. (1993). "Electricity from Biomass in the United States: Status and Future Direction." Bioresource Technology (46); pp. 86-93.

Wyman, C. E.; Bain, R. L.; Hinman, N. D.; Stevens, D. J. (1993). "Ethanol and Methanol from Cellulosic Materials," Chapter 21. Johansson, T. B., Kelly, H., Reddy, A. K. N., Williams, R. H., eds. Renewable Energy: Sources for Fuels and Electricity. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Bain, R. L. (1992). "Electricity from Biomass in the United States: Status and Future Direction." Prepared for the JALO Conference, 4-5 December 1992, Espoo, Finland.

Bain, R. L.; Overend, R. P. (1992). "Biomass Electric Technologies: Status and Future Direction," Chapter 11. Boer, K. W., ed. Advances in Solar Energy:
An Annual Review of Research and Development
. Boulder, CO: American Solar Energy Society.

Paisley, M. A.; Breault, R. W.; Bain, R. L. (1992). "Design and Economics of Electricity Production from an Indirectly Heated Gasifier." Prepared for the Fifth Annual National Biofuels Conference and Exhibition: Waste Wood Processing and Combustion for Energy, 18-21 October 1992, Newton, MA.

Bain, R. L. (January 1992). Material and Energy Balances for Methanol from Biomass using Biomass Gasifiers. Report No. NREL/TP-510-17098. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Bain, R. L.; Overend, R. P. (1991). "Biomass to Methanol: Assessment of Production Costs." Prepared for the HNEI Alcohol Fuels Workshop, 9-11 January 1991, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Bain, R. L.; Overend, R. P. (1991). "Biomass Gasification to Electricity." Prepared for the 10th Annual EPRI Conference on Coal Gasification, 16-18 October 1991, San Francisco, CA.

Babu, S. P.; Feldkirchner, H. L.; Bain, R. L. (December 1991). "A Review of Biomass Gasification in the United States." Participating Countries Report, IEA Bioenergy Agreement, Task VII - Biomass Conversion, Activity 4: Thermal Gasification. Paris: IEA Bioenergy.

Bain, R. L.; Overend, R. P. (1991) "USDOE Biomass Power Program." Prepared for the 1st European Forum on Electricity Production from Biomass and Solid Wastes by Advanced Technologies, 27-29 November 1991, Florence, Italy.

Porter, C. R.; Bain, R. L.; Rastle, C. M. (1983). "Status of the Pentanyl Technologies, Inc., Coal Liquefaction Process." Prepared for the 6th International Coal Utilization Conference, 15 November 1983, Houston, Texas; pp. 347-355.

Porter, C. R., et al. (1983). "Enhanced Direct Coal Liquefaction with Iron Pentacarbonyl Catalysis Under Water Gas Shift Conditions." Prepared for the International Coal Conversion Conference, 16-20 August 1983, Pretoria, South Africa.

Gertenbach, D. D.; Baldwin, R. M.; Bain, R. L. (July 1982). "Modeling of Bench-Scale Coal Liquefaction Systems." Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Process Design and Development (21:3); pp. 490-500.

Furlong, M. W.; Baldwin, R. M.; Bain, R. L. (February 1982). "Reactivity of Coal Towards Hydrogenation - Ranking by Kinetic Measurements." Fuel (61:2); pp. 116-120.

Porter, C. R., et al. (1982). "Low Valent Organometallic Catalysis in Coal Liquefaction." Prepared for the 1982 AIChE Winter Meeting, 28 Feb-3 Mar 1982, Orlando, FL.

Graboski, M.; Bain, R. (1981). "Chapter 3: Properties of Biomass Relevant to Gasification." Reed, T., ed. Biomass Gasification: Principles and Technology. Park Ridge, NJ: Noyes Data Corporation.

Bain, R. (1981). "Chapter 4: Beneficiation of Biomass for Gasification and Combustion." Reed, T., ed. Biomass Gasification: Principles and Technology. Park Ridge, NJ: Noyes Data Corporation.

Furlong, M. W., et al. (1981). "Reactivity of Coal Towards Hydrogenation: Ranking by Kinetic Measurements." Prepared for the International Conference on Coal Science, 6-9 September 1981, Dusseldorf, Germany.

Furlong, M. W., et al. (1981). "Coal Liquefaction Kinetics and Reactivity." Prepared for the AIChE 1981 Annual Meeting, November 1981, New Orleans, LA. AIChE Preprints; 26 pp.

Gertenbach, D. D., et al. (1981). "Modeling of Bench-scale Coal Liquefaction Systems." Prepared for the AIChE Summer Meeting, 16-19 August 1981, Detroit, Michigan.

Thakkar, V. P.; Baldwin, R. M.; Bain, R. L. (July 1981). "Hydrodenitrogenation of SRC-1 Recycle Solvent: Catalyst Screening and Reactivity of Nitrogen Heterocycles." Fuel Processing Technology (4:4); pp. 235-250.

SERI (July 1979). Bain, R. L., Contributor, Chapters 3 and 4. A Survey of Biomass Gasification, Vol II - Principles of Gasification. Report No. TR-33-239-Volume II. Golden, CO: Solar Energy Research Institute.

Shalabi, M. A.; Baldwin, R. M.; Bain, R. L.; Gary, J. H.; Golden, J. O. (July 1979). "Noncatalytic Coal Liquefaction in a Donor Solvent, Rate of Formation of Oil, Asphaltenes, and Preasphaltenes." Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Process Design and Development (18:3); pp. 474-479.

Gertenbach, D. D.; Baldwin, R. M.; Bain, R. L.; Gary, J. H.; Golden, J. O. (January 1979). "Kinetics of Sulfur Form Removal During Coal Hydrogenation." Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Process Design and Development (18:1); pp. 102-107.

Shalabi, M. A., et al. (1978). "Kinetics of Coal Liquefaction." AIChE, ed. Coal Processing Technology, Volume 5. New York, NY: American Institute of Chemical Engineers; pp. 82-86.

Shalabi, M. A., et al. (1977). "Kinetics of Coal Liquefaction to Preasphaltenes, Asphaltenes, and Oils." Prepared for the AIChE 70th Annual Meeting, November 1977, New York, NY.

Gertenbach, D. D., et al. (1977). "Kinetics of Forms of Sulfur Removal." Prepared for the 2nd Annual Rocky Mountain Synthetic Fuels Symposium, February 1977, Salt Lake City, UT.

Koltz, R. C.; Baldwin, R. M.; Bain, R. L.; Golden, J. O.; Gary, J. H. (1977). "Kinetics of Coal Hydrodesulfurization in a Batch Reactor." Ellington, R. T., ed. Liquid Fuels From Coal. New York, NY: Academic Press.

Koltz, R. C., et al. (August 1976). "Kinetics of Coal Desulfurization in a Batch Reactor." Prepared for the ACS 172nd National Meeting. American Chemical Society Division of Fuel Chemistry Preprints (21:5); pp. 96-108.

Baldwin, R. M., et al. (1976). Removal of Sulfur From Coal by Treatment with Hydrogen. Final Report, ERDA Contract No. E(49-19)-1225. Washington, DC: Energy Research and Development Administration.

CERI (April 1976). Bain, R. L., Contributor. Net Energy Analysis, An Energy Balance Study of Fossil Fuel Resources. Golden, CO: Colorado Energy Research Institute.

Maddox, K. P., et al. (1976). "Energy Analysis of Coal Liquefaction Systems." Presented at the 171st ACS National Meeting, 5-9 April 1976, New York, NY. American Chemical Society Division of Fuel Chemistry Preprints (21:2).

Gary, J. H., et al. (1975). "The Solvent Refined Coal Process." Chemical Engineering Progress (71:4).

Gary, J. H., et al. (1975). "Removal of Sulfur from Coal by Treatment with Hydrogen." Energy Sources (2:1); pp. 33-51.

Baldwin, R. M., et al. (1974). "Mathematical Modeling of the Selectivity of the Solvent-Refining Process in the Removal of Sulfur From Coal." Prepared for the 78th AIChE National Meeting, 18-21 August 1974, Salt Lake City, UT.

Gary, J. H., et al. (1974). "Removal of Sulfur from Coal by Treatment with Hydrogen." Prepared for the ACS National Meeting, 1-5 April 1974, Los Angeles, CA. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society Division of Fuel Chemistry; pp. 167-191.

Bain, R. L.; Stermole, F. J.; Golden, J. O. (May 1974) "Liquefaction Dynamics of n-Octadecane in Cylindrical Coordinates." Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets (11:5); pp. 335-339.

Bain, R. L. (1973). An Experimental and Theoretical Investigation of the Liquefaction Dynamics of a Phase-change Material in a Normal Gravity Environment. Ph.D. Thesis, No. T-1542. Golden, CO: Colorado School of Mines.

Bain, R. L. (1971). The Effect of Gravity Induced Free Convection Upon the Melting of a Finite Paraffin Slab for Thermal Control. Master's Thesis, No. T-1319. Golden, CO: Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado.

Bain R. L.; Stermole, F. J.; Golden, J. O. (September 1971). "Gravity Induced Free Convection Effects in Melting Phenomena for Thermal Control." Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets (8:9); pp. 1000-1002.

Patents

Diebold, et al., U.S. Patent No. 5,504,259 (1996). "Process to Convert Biomass and Refuse Derived Fuels to Ethers and/or Alcohols."

Bain, R. L.; Larson, J. R., Canadian Patent 1,327,932 (1994). "Apparatus for Thermal Treatment of a Hydrocarbon Stream."

Bain, R. L.; Larson, J. R., Canadian Patent 1,298,803 (14 April 1992). "Viscosity Reduction by Direct Oxidative Heating."

Bain, R. L.; Larson, J. R., U.S. Patent No. 5,008,085 (16 April 1991). "Apparatus for Thermal Treatment of a Hydrocarbon Stream."

Bain, R. L.; Larson, J. R., U.S. Patent No. 4,849,025 (18 July 1989). "Decoking Hydrocarbon Reactors by Wet Oxidation."

Bain, R. L.; Larson, J. R., U.S. Patent No. 4,818,371 (4 April 1989). "Viscosity Reduction by Direct Oxidative Heating."

Bain, R. L., et al., U.S. Patent No. 4,778,586 (18 October 1989). "Viscosity Reduction Processing at Elevated Pressure."

Bain, R. L., et al., Australian Patent No. 573573 (29 February 1984). "Integrated Ionic Liquefaction Process."