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Robert M. Baldwin

Photo of Robert M. Baldwin.

Robert Baldwin is a Principal Scientist in the National Bioenergy Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado; he has worked at NREL since 2008. Dr. Baldwin holds the degrees Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in chemical engineering from Iowa State University and the PhD degree in chemical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). Prior to joining NREL, Bob spent 30 years as a faculty member at CSM including 10 years as Head of the Chemical Engineering Department and retired as Professor Emeritus in 2005. Bob is a member of the project team that founded the Petroleum Institute (PI) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and served as Program Director in Chemical Engineering at PI from 2002 to August, 2007. From 2011 to 2013, he was seconded from NREL to the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MI) in Abu Dhabi as Professor in the Chemical Engineering Program, and in addition to teaching, helped establish an algal biofuels research program at MI.

Dr. Baldwin has extensive experience and expertise in thermochemical conversion of biomass to gaseous and liquid fuels, including catalysis and reaction engineering of biomass conversion processes.

Research Interests

Catalysis, reaction engineering, biomass gasification, biomass liquefaction, upgrading of bio-oil, and advanced biofuels


B.S., M.S., Iowa State University (Chemical Engineering
PhD, Colorado School of Mines (Chemical Engineering)

Professional Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Professional Recognition and Awards

  1. Levine Award for Music (piano performance), Iowa State University, 1972
  2. Amoco Outstanding Teaching Award, CSM, 1982
  3. Burlington Northern Award for Excellence in Combined Teaching and Research, 1988
  4. Senior Class Outstanding Educator Award (All University award), 1988
  5. Outstanding Educator Award, Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Refining Dept. (CSM Departmental award), 1989, 1992, 1996
  6. Senior Class Outstanding Educator Award (all University award), 1992 and 1993
  7. Elected Chair, Colorado Section of the American Chemical Society, 1994
  8. Professional Achievement in Engineering (PACE) Award, Iowa State University, 1995
  9. Elected Chair, Rocky Mountain American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1999
  10. CSM Board of Trustees Outstanding Faculty Award, 2001
  11. Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering, CSM, 2005
  12. Chairman’s Award for Exceptional Performance, NREL, 2010

Professional Experience

2008 – present: Principal Scientist, Thermochemical Process R&D and Biorefinery Analysis, National Bioenergy Center, NREL, Golden, CO USA
2011 – 2013: Professor, Chemical Engineering Program, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE (on secondment from NREL)
Nov. 2007 – February 2008: Professor and Saudi ARAMCO Chair, Chemical Engineering Department, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
2003–Nov. 2007: Professor and Program Director, Chemical Engineering Program, The Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi
2000–2004: Professor of Chemical Engineering and Project Director (CSM), Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi
1990–2000: Professor and Head, Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Refining Dept., CSM
1988–1989: Professor and Associate Dean of Engineering
1985–1990: Professor, CEPR Dept., CSM
1980–1985: Associate Professor, CEPR Dept., CSM
1979–1980: Assistant Professor, CEPR Dept., CSM
1978–1979: Faculty IGPA, U.S. Department of Energy, Fossil Energy Program, Washington, D.C.
1976–1978: Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Refining Dept., CSM
1975–1976: Instructor, Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Refining Dept., CSM

Contact Information

Robert M. Baldwin, PhD
Principal Scientist
National Bioenergy Center
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
15013 Denver West Parkway
Golden, CO 80401
Phone: 303-384-6858
Fax: 303-384-6877

Selected Refereed Publications (present to 1975)

  1. J.H. Gary, R.M. Baldwin, R.L Bain, Removal of sulfur from coal by treatment with hydrogen, Energy Sources (1975), 2:1, 33-51

  2. J.H. Gary, R.M. Baldwin, R.L. Bain, The solvent refined coal process, Chemical Engineering Progress (1975), 71:4

  3. R.M Baldwin, R.L. Bain, J.H Gary, J.O. Golden, Removal of sulfur from coal by treatment with hydrogen, final report, ERDA contract E(49-19)-1225 (1976)

  4. R.C. Koltz, R.M. Baldwin, R.L. Bain, J.O. Golden, J.H. Gary, Kinetics of coal hydrodesulfurization in a batch reactor, in Liquid Fuels from Coal (1977), R.T. Ellington, Ed., Academic Press, New York, NY

  5. M.A. Shalabi, R.M. Baldwin, R.L. Bain, Kinetics of coal liquefaction, Coal Processing Technology (1978), 5, 82–86

  6. D.D. Gertenbach, R.M. Baldwin, R.L. Bain, J.H. Gary, J.O. Golden, Kinetics of sulfur form removal during coal hydrogenation, Ind. Eng. Chem. Proc. Des. Dev. (1979), 18:1, 102-107

  7. M.A. Shalabi, R.M. Baldwin, R.L. Bain, Noncatalytic coal liquefaction in a donor solvent; rate of formation of oil, asphaltenes, and preasphaltenes, Ind. Eng. Chem. Proc. Des. Dev. (1979), 18:3, 474-479

  8. V.P Thakkar, R.M. Baldwin, R.L. Bain, Hydrodenitrogenation of SRC-1 recycle solvent; catalyst screening and reactivity of nitrogen heterocycles, Fule Processing Technology (1981), 4:4, 235-250

  9. M.W. Furlong, R.M. Baldwin, R.L. Bain, Reactivity of coal towards hydrogenation – ranking by kinetic measurements, Fuel (1982), 61:2, 116-120

  10. D.D. Gertenbach, R.M. Baldwin, R.L. Bain, Modeling of bench-scale coal liquefaction systems, Ind. Eng. Chem. Proc. Des. Dev. (1982), 21:3, 490-500

  11. R.M. Baldwin and S. Vinciguerra, "Coal Liquefaction Catalysis: Iron Pyrite and Hydrogen Sulfide", FUEL (1983), 62:5, 498-501

  12. R.L. Miller and R.M. Baldwin; "Effect of Wyodak Coal Properties on Hydroliquefaction Reactivity", FUEL (1985), 64

  13. Chum, H.L., Johnson, D.K., Ratcliff, M., Posey, F., Black, S., Goheen, D., Baldwin, R.M., Liquid Fuels from Lignin, Proc. SERI Biochemical Conversion Program Semi-Annual Review Meeting, Golden, CO  June 10 (1985)

  14. R.M. Baldwin, G.S. Lane, and K.W. Chen; "Pyrolysis of Oil Shale in Supercritical Toluene", Fuel Proc. Tech. (1986), 13

  15. Johnson, D.K., Ratcliff, M, Black, S., Posey, F., Chum, H.L., Goheen, D.E., Cowley, S., Baldwin, R.M., Liquid Fuels from Lignin, SERI Biochemical Conversion Program Annual Report (SERI/SP-231-3126), Golden, CO  (1987)

  16. K.J. Voorhees, S.L. Durfee, and R.M. Baldwin; "Relationship of Coal Characteristics to Coal Reactivity for Direct Hydrogenation Liquefaction", Fuel Proc. Tech. (1987), 15

  17. R.M. Baldwin and K.W. Chen, "Pyrolysis and Hydropyrolysis of Two Carbonaceous Oils Shales in Supercritical Toluene and Tetralin"; FUEL (1987), 66

  18. S-C. Shin, R.M. Baldwin, and R.L. Miller; "Coal Reactivity in Direct Hydrogenation Liquefaction", Energy & Fuels (1987), 1

  19. Johnson, D.K., Chum, H.L., Anzick, R., Baldwin, R.M., Design and Testing of an Autoclave System for Lignin Hydrotreating, SERI Biochemical Conversion Program Annual Report (SERI/SP-231-3245), (1987)

  20. M.C. Edelman, R.M. Baldwin, and S.W. Cowley; "Vapor Phase Catalytic Hydrodeoxygenation of Benzofuran", J. Catal. (1988), 111

  21. R.L. Miller, and R.M. Baldwin; "Low Severity Co-Processing using Homogeneous Basic Nitrogen Promoters", ACS Div. Fuel Chem. Preprints (1988), 33, no. 1, p. 154

  22. R.M. Baldwin and J.A. Manley; "Pyrolysis and Hydropyrolysis of Kentucky Oil Shale in Supercritical Toluene under Rapid Heating Conditions", Fuel Proc. Tech. (1988), 17, p. 201

  23. D.K. Johnson, H.L. Chum, M. Ratcliff, R. Anzick, and R.M. Baldwin, Liquid Fuels from Lignins, SERI Ethanol from Biomass Annual Report (1988)

  24. S-C. Shin, R.M. Baldwin, and R.L. Miller; "Correlation of Bituminous Coal Hydroliquefaction Activation Energy with Fundamental Coal Chemical Properties", Energy & Fuels (1989), 3, p. 193

  25. S-C. Shin, R.M. Baldwin, and R.L. Miller; "Effect of Radical Quenching on Hydrogen Activity: Model Compound and Coal Hydroliquefaction Studies", Energy & Fuels (1989), 3, p. 71

  26. R.L. Miller and R.M. Baldwin; "Short Contact Time Thermal Reactivity of Coal-Derived Residuum", Energy Sources (1989), 11, p. 19

  27. R.M. Baldwin; "Coal Reactivity - A Brief Review", ACS Div. Fuel Chem. Preprints (1989), 34, no. 3, p. 787

  28. M.G. Armstrong, R.M. Baldwin, and R.L. Miller; "Effect of Mild Alkylation Pretreatment of Reactivity of Argonne Coals", ACS Div. Fuel Chem. Preprints (1989), 34, no. 3, p. 873

  29. R.L. Miller, G.F. Giacomelli, K.J. McHugh, and R.M. Baldwin; "Coprocessing of Coal and Residuum under Low-Severity Reaction Conditions:  Effect of Basic Nitrogen Promoters", Energy & Fuels (1989), 3, p. 127

  30. D.K. Johnson, H.L. Chum, R. Anzick, and R.M. Baldwin; "Preparation of a Lignin-Derived Pasting Oil", Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (1990), 24, p. 31

  31. R.M. Baldwin, D.R. Kennar, O. Nguanprasert, and R.L. Miller; "Liquefaction Reactivity Enhancement of Coal by Mild Alkylation and Solvent Swelling Techniques";  Fuel (1991), 70, 429

  32. R.M. Baldwin, D.R. Kennar, O. Nguanprasert, and R.L. Miller; "Effect of Mild Chemical Pretreatment on Liquefaction Reactivity of Argonne Coals",  in Coal Science II (1991), ACS Symposium Series No. 461, 260

  33. R.M. Baldwin; "Correlation of Coal Properties with Hydroliquefaction Reactivity: A Brief Review", in Coal Science II (1991), ACS Symposium Series No. 461, 171

  34. K. Shams, R.L. Miller, R.M. Baldwin; "Enhancing Low Severity Coal Liquefaction Reactivity Using Mild Chemical Pretreatment", Fuel (1992), 71, 1015

  35. S. Gaur, R.M. Baldwin, R.L. Miller; "Effect of Added Heterogeneous Catalysts on Low Severity Coal Liquefaction", Fuel Science and Technology Int. (1992), 10, 1343

  36. E.D. Sloan, R.M. Baldwin, D.J.T. Fiedler; "A Pilot Graduate Recruiting Program", Chemical Engineering Education (1992), 190

  37. S.N. Ahmed, F.J. Derbyshire, R.M. Baldwin, "Catalytic Reduction of Nitric Oxide over Activated Carbons", FUEL (1993), 72, 287

  38. R.M. Baldwin; "Coal Conversion Processes - Direct Liquefaction".  Chapter in the 1994 edition of the Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, 75 pages, J. Wiley and Sons, NY, NY

  39. R.M. Baldwin, S. Gaur, M.J. Gordon, R.R. Hill, R.D. Knecht, J.O. Golden, S. Stiefvater, B. Roecker, G. Semones, P. Williams, "Catalytic Combustion of Mixed Waste: Catalyst Research and Fluidized Bed Reactor Development", 1994 Int. Incineration Conf., Houston, TX  May, 1994

  40. W.L. Bandy, M.S. Graboski, R.M. Baldwin,"Catalytic Particulate Traps for Diesel Engines", Proc. Int. Symposium on Monolith Catalysts, St. Petersburg (S.U.), Sept. 1995

  41. M.J. Gordon, S. Gaur, S. Kelkar, and R.M. Baldwin; "Low Temperature Incineration of Mixed Wastes using Bulk Metal Oxide Catalysts", Catalysis Today (1996), 28, 305

  42. J.A. Moulijn, F. Kapteijn, J. van de Graaf, W. Zhu, and R.M. Baldwin, Synthesis, Evaluation, and Modeling of Zeolite Membranes, ACS Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV, August, 1997

  43. R.L. Miller, J.F. Ely, B.M. Olds, and R.M. Baldwin, Higher Order Thinking in the Unit Operations Laboratory, Chemical Engineering Education (1998), 32 no. 2, 146

  44. R.M. Baldwin, J.F. Ely, J.D. Way, and S.R. Daniel, "Incorporating Molecular Modeling into the Chemical Engineering Curriculum", Chemical Engineering Education (Spring, 2000), 162 – 167

  45. K.H. Gilbert, R.M. Baldwin, J.D. Way, "The Effect of Heating Rate and Gas Atmosphere on Template Decomposition in Silicalite-1", Ind. Eng. Chem. Research (2001), 40, no. 22, 4844

  46. Kim. M., Way, J.D., and Baldwin, R.M.; Effects of Cross-Linking and Spacer Groups on beta-Cyclodextrin Bonded Liquid Chromatographic Separation; Korean J. Chem. Eng., 21 (2), 465-468 (2004)

  47. Kim. M., Way, J.D., and Baldwin, R.M.; "A Study of Direct Loading of beta-Cyclodextrin on Glass Beads as Chromatographic Separator"; Korean J. Chem. Eng., 20, 528 (2003)

  48. L. Zhang, K.H. Gilbert, R.M. Baldwin and J.D. Way, "Preparation and Testing of Carbon/Silicalite-1 Composite Membranes", Chemical Engineering Communications, 191 (2005)

  49. R.M. Baldwin, "Gas To Liquids: Technology and Applications", Internet course developed for EDUTECH Dubai, UAE; (2007)

  50. R.J. French, J. Hrdlicka, R.M. Baldwin, Mild Hydrotreating of Biomass Pyrolysis Oils to Produce a Suitable Refinery Feedstock, Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy (2010), 29, no. 2, 142-150

  51. S. Chea, R.M. Baldwin, J. Hensley; Materials Challenges in Alternative and Renewable Energy, Ceramic Transactions (2011), 224

  52. R.J. French, J. Stunkel, R.M. Baldwin; Mild Hydrotreating of Bio-Oil: Effect of Reaction Severity and Fate of Oxygenated Species, Energy & Fuels (2011), 25 (7), 3266-3274

  53. Baldwin, Magrini, Nimlos, Hensley, Phillips, Research in Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass at NREL, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental (2012), 115-116, 320-329

  54. R.M. Baldwin and C.J. Feik, Bio-oil Upgrading and Stabilization by Hot Gas Filtration, Energy & Fuels (2013), 27, 3224 – 3238