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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 the 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 Publications

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

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

  3. R.J. French; J. Stunkel; R.M. Baldwin (2010)."Mild Hydrotreating of Bio-Oil: Effect of Reaction Severity and Fate of Oxygenated Species." Energy & Fuels, 25 (7), 3266-3274.

  4. R.M. Baldwin; K. Magrini; M. Nimlos; J. Hensley; S. Phillips (2012)."Current research on Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass at National Renewable Energy Laboratory." Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 115-116, 320-329.

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

  6. I. Cybulska; T. Chaturvedi; G. Brudecki; R.M. Baldwin; M.H Thomsen (2014)."Chemical characterization and hydrothermal pretreatment of Salicornia bigelovii straw for enhanced enzymatic hydrolysis and bioethanol potential." Bioresource Technology, 153, 165-172.

  7. M.R. Sturgeon; M.H. O’Brien; P.N. Ciesielski; R. Katahira; J.S. Kruger; S.C. Chmely; J. Hamlin; K. Lawrence; G.B. Hunsinger; T.D. Foust; R.M. Baldwin; M.J. Biddy; G.T. Beckham (2014)."Lignin depolymerisation by nickel-supported layered-double hydroxide catalysts." Green Chem, 16, 824-835.

  8. M.S. Talmadge; R.M. Baldwin; M.J. Biddy; R.L. McCormick; G.T. Beckham; G.A. Ferguson; S. Czernik; K.A. Magrini-Bair; T.D. Foust; P.D. Metelski; C. Hetrick; M.R. Nimlos (2014)."A perspective on oxygenated species in the refinery integration of pyrolysis oil." Green Chem, 16, 407-453.