Photo of Calvin Mukarakate

Calvin Mukarakate

Group Research Manager II-Chemical Engineering

Orcid ID

Calvin Mukarakate is a senior scientist at NREL. His research focuses on catalytic upgrading of lignocellulosic biomass into fuels and chemicals. He serves in the Technical Advisory Committee for the Symposium on Thermal and Catalytic Sciences for Biofuels and Biobased Products. He is also a Steering Committee member of Chemical Catalysis for Bioenergy, an Energy Materials Network consortium.

Research Interests

Production of transportation fuels from biomass pyrolysis vapors

Selective conversion of biomass pyrolysis vapors to form monomers for renewable polymers

Production of hydrogen and chemical intermediates from pyrolysis aqueous waste streams

Co-processing bio-oil with petroleum-derived feeds

Affiliated Research Programs

Chemical Catalysis for Bioenergy Consortium

Heterogeneous Catalysis for Thermochemical Conversion

Areas of Expertise

Catalyst fast pyrolysis of biomass to produce transportation fuels and chemicals

Reforming pyrolysis aqueous waste streams to process hydrogen, hydrocarbon fuels, and chemicals

Flash pyrolysis of biomass using an advanced captive sample reactor (wire mesh)

Laser ablation time-of-flight mass spectrometry for the analysis of biomass materials

Photoionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry for studying the pyrolysis of biomass model compounds


Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Marquette University

B.Sc., Honors Mining Engineering, University of Zimbabwe

Professional Experience

Senior Scientist, NREL (2015–present)

Thermochemical Conversion Scientist, NREL (2011–2015)

Postdoctoral Research Associate, NREL (2008–2011)

Featured Work

Improving Biomass Pyrolysis Economics by Integrating Vapor and Liquid Phase Upgrading, Green Chemistry (2018)

Integrated Biorefining: Coproduction of Renewable Resol Biopolymer for Aqueous Stream Valorization, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (2017)

Characterization and Catalytic Upgrading of Aqueous Stream Carbon From Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis of Biomass, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (2017)

Deactivation of Multilayered MFI Nanosheet Zeolite During Upgrading of Biomass Pyrolysis Vapors, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (2017)

Supported Molybdenum Oxides are Effective Catalysts for the Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis of Lignocellulosic Biomass, Green Chemistry (2016)

Influence of Crystal Allomorph and Crystallinity on the Products and Behavior of Cellulose During Fast Pyrolysis, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (2016)

Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis of Biomass: The Reactions of Water and Aromatic Intermediates Produces Phenols, Green Chemistry (2015)

Molybdenum Incorporated Mesoporous Silica Catalyst for Production of Biofuels and Value-Added Chemicals via Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis, Green Chemistry (2015)

Unimolecular Thermal Decomposition of Dimethoxybenzenes, Journal of Chemical Physics (2014)

Real-Time Monitoring of the Deactivation of HZSM-5 During Upgrading of Pine Pyrolysis Vapors, Green Chemistry (2014)

Please contact me with research questions and ideas for collaborations. Please do NOT contact me directly for jobs—see instead information on NREL's Director's Postdoctoral Fellowship program or on NREL Careers in general.