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Yimin Zhang

Photo of Yimin Zhang

Yimin Zhang is a member of the Technology Systems & Impacts Analysis Group in the Strategic Energy Analysis Center.

Research Analyst
On staff since April 2010
Phone number: 303-275-3258

Areas of Expertise

  • Life cycle assessment
  • Socio-economic impact analysis of bioenergy production
  • Air pollutant emissions associated with biomass and biofuel production

Research Interests

  • Life cycle assessment for biofuels
  • Socio-economic impact analysis of energy systems
  • Air pollutant modeling


  • Ph.D. in civil engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  • M.A.Sc. in civil engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  • B.S. in environmental engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, China

Prior Work Experience

  • Environmental Engineering Manager, Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Company, Ltd. Shanghai, China (1997-2001)
  • Environmental Engineer, Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Company, Ltd. Shanghai, China (1990-1996)

Featured Publications

Zhang, Y., Heath, G., Carpenter, A., and Fisher, N. "Air pollutant emissions inventory of large-scale production of selected biofuels feedstocks in 2022." Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining 10:56-69 (2016). DOI: 10.1002/bbb.1620.

Zhang, Y., Goldberg, M., Tan, E., Meyer, P.A. "Estimation of economic impacts of cellulosic biofuel production: a comparative analysis of three biofuel pathways." Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining 10:281-298 (2016). DOI: 10.1002/bbb.1637.

Vimmerstedt, L., A. Brown, E. Newes, T. Markel, A. Schroeder, Y. Zhang, P. Chipman, and S. Johnson. 2015. Transformative Reduction of Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Opportunities for Change in Technologies and Systems. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-5400-62943.

Zhang, Y. and M. Goldberg. 2015. Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) User Reference Guide: Fast Pyrolysis Biorefinery Model. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-6A20-62548.

Warner, E., Y. Zhang, D. Inman, and G. Heath. "Challenges in the Estimation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Biofuel-Induced Global Land-Use Change." Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining 8, no. 1 (January/February 2014): 114-25. NREL/JA-5100-61691. doi:10.1002/bbb.1434

Chum, H. L., Y. Zhang, J. Hill, D.G. Tiffany, R.V. Morey, A.G. Eng, and Z. Haq. "Understanding the Evolution of Environmental and Energy Performance of the US Corn Ethanol Industry Report No. JA-5100-54797. doi:10.1002/bbb.1449

Warner, E., D. Inman, B. Kunstman, B. Bush, L. Vimmerstedt, S. Peterson, J. Macknick, and Y. Zhang. "Modeling Biofuel Expansion Effects on Land Use Change Dynamics." Environmental Research Letters 8, no. 1 (January-March 2013). Article No. 015003. NREL/JA-6A20-56291. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/1/015003

Warner, E., Y. Zhang, H. Chum, R. Newmark. 2012. Land Use and Water Efficiency in Current and Potential Future U.S. Corn and Brazilian Sugarcane Ethanol Systems (Poster). Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/PO-6A20-57111.

Zhang, Y., J. McKechnie, D. Cormier, R. Lyng, W. Mabee, A. Ogino, and H.L. MacLean. "Life cycle emissions and cost of producing electricity from coal, natural gas and wood pellets in Ontario, Canada." Environmental Science and Technology 44, no. 1 (December 2009): 538-44. doi:10.1021/es902555a

Zhang, Y., S. Joshi, and H.L. MacLean. "Can ethanol alone meet California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard? An evaluation of feedstock and conversion alternatives." Environmental Research Letters 5 (2010): 1-14. 014002. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/5/1/014002

Full list of Yimin Zhang publications (NREL)