Research Interests

David Robichaud works in the Computational Modeling group within the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) Biosciences Center. David leads the NREL arm of the Consortium for Computational Physics and Chemistry, which utilizes computational toolsets to facilitate the modeling of biomass industrial technologies from atomic to process scales, thereby reducing the cost, time, and risk in commercializing bioenergy technologies developed at NREL. Research interests include:

  • Production of premium fuels and chemicals from biomass pyrolysis

  • Computational modeling

  • Chemical mechanisms and kinetics of catalytic surfaces

  • Sooting mechanisms of performance-advantaged fuels

Affiliated Research Programs


  • Ph.D., Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, 2007

  • B.S., Chemistry/Mathematics, California State University, Fullerton, 2001

Professional Experience

  • Senior Thermochemical Conversion Scientist, Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis, NREL Biosciences Center, 2015–present

  • Staff Scientist, Thermochemical Sciences, NREL Biosciences Center, 20072015

Featured Publications

  1. "Consideration of the Aluminum Distribution in Zeolites in Theoretical and Experimental Catalysis Research," ACS Catalysis (2018)

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

  3. "Group Additivity Determination for Oxygenates, Oxonium Ions, and Oxygen-Containing Carbenium Ions," Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research (2017)

  4. "Catalytic fast pyrolysis of biomass: the reactions of water and aromatic intermediates produces phenols," Green Chemistry (2015)

  5. "Biomass Particle Models with Realistic Morphology and Resolved Microstructure for Simulations of Intraparticle Transport Phenomena," Energy & Fuels (2015)

  6. "Unimolecular thermal decomposition of dimethoxybenzenes," Journal of Chemical Physics (2014)

View all NREL Publications for David Robichaud.

Please contact me with research questions, ideas for collaborations, and questions about the Computational Pyrolysis Consortium program. 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.