Photo of Edward W. Jennings

Ed Jennings

Research Operations Manager II


Ed Jennings has over 25 years of experience in the renewable energy/biotechnology industry with an emphasis on fermentation research and development, pretreatment conversion technologies, and enzymatic hydrolysis optimization, incorporating the latest advances in the field. Additionally, he has scientific validation experience, including assessing adequacy of project facilities, quality assurance and quality control programs, observing on-site validation experiments, verifying process economic data, and confirming performance claims. His present role is Pilot Plant Operations Manager of the Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility Biochemical Conversion Pilot Plant, a pilot-scale conversion facility for researchers, industry partners, and stakeholders to test a variety of biochemical conversion processes and technologies. The pilot plant capabilities accommodate research from bench scale to pilot scale (one ton per day). Ed's responsibilities include coordinating and supervising plant operations by directing the daily activities of engineers and technicians, ensuring the successful completion of pilot plant projects, managing document control programs, and promoting a safe, supportive working environment with a culture of continuous improvement. Ed is also an active member of the NREL Chemical Response Team and recently completed the Laboratory Operations Supervisory Academy (LOSA) training at Battelle headquarters.

Research Interests

Process integration and scale-up

High solids bio-reactor designs

Improved solid-liquid separations technologies

Techniques to improve microbial fermentation systems.


B.A., Environmental Science, State University of New York at Plattsburgh

Professional Development—Additional Coursework

Fermentation Technology, Professional Institute, MIT

LOSA training, Battelle

Practical Process Control for Engineers & Technicians, ID Communications

Gensym G2 Object Oriented Programming, Gensym Training Center

Professional Experience

Pilot Plant Operations Manager, NREL (2014–present)

Scientist I through Scientist III, NREL (2003–2014)

Process Development Tech through Senior Research Technician, NREL (1995–2003)

Bioprocess Operator I–II, Synergen, Inc. (1992–1994)

Featured Work

Assessing the Protein Concentration in Commercial Enzyme Preparations, in Biomass Conversion, Methods in Molecular Biology (2012)

Conditioning of Dilute Acid Pretreated Corn Stover Hydrolysate Liquors by Treatment with Lime or Ammonium Hydroxide to Improve Conversion of Sugars to Ethanol, Bioresource Technology (2011)

Comparative Performance of Precommercial Cellulases Hydrolyzing Pretreated Corn Stover, Biotechnology for Biofuels (2011)


Process for the Conversion of and Aqueous Biomass Hydrolyzate into Fuels or Chemicals by the Selective Removal of Fermentation Inhibitors, U.S. Patent No. 6,737,258 (2004)