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Photo of Xiaowen Chen

Xiaowen Chen

Researcher IV-Chemical Engineering

Xiaowen.Chen@nrel.gov | 303-384-6828

Research Interests

  • Biomass to low-cost and clean sugar

  • Biomass to high-yield and high-titer ethanol

  • Biomass to advanced fuel

  • Biomass to value-added chemicals and materials


Areas of Expertise

  • Pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis

    • Sugar production via acid pretreatment

    • Furfural and HMF production via acid pretreatment

    • Alkaline pretreatment (deacetylation)

    • Mechanical refining

    • High-solids enzymatic hydrolysis

    • Kinetics and reaction mechanisms

    • Physical and chemical characterization

  • Pulping

  • Pulping chemical recovery

  • Experiment design and optimization

  • Reactor scale-up and validation

  • Laboratory and equipment design and construction

  • Aspen Plus process simulation and techno-economic analysis

  • Process design


Education

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Maine, 2009

  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Maine, 2005

  • B.S., Chemical Engineering in Polymer Science and Technology, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, 2002


Featured Publications

  1. "A highly efficient dilute alkali deacetylation and mechanical (disc) refining process for the conversion of renewable biomass to lower cost sugars," Biotechnology for Biofuels (2014)

  2. "The impacts of deacetylation prior to dilute acid pretreatment on the bioethanol process," Biotechnology for Biofuels (2012)

  3. "Improved Xylan Hydrolysis of Corn Stover by Deacetylation with High Solids Dilute Acid Pretreatment," Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (2012)

  4. "Comparison of different mechanical refining technologies on the enzymatic digestibility of low severity acid pretreated corn stover," Bioresource Technology (2013)


Additional Publications

  1. "Improved ethanol yield and reduced MESP by modifying low severity dilute acid pretreatment with deacetylation and mechanical refining: 1) Experimental," Biotechnology for Biofuels (2012)

  2. "Improved ethanol yield and reduced MESP by modifying low severity dilute acid pretreatment with deacetylation and mechanical refining: 2) Techno-economic analysis," Biotechnology for Biofuels (2012)

  3. "Kinetics and mechanism of autohydrolysis of hardwoods," Bioresource Technology (2010)

  4. "Effect of mechanical disruption on the effectiveness of three reactors used for dilute acid pretreatment of corn stover Part 1: chemical and physical substrate analysis," Biotechnology for Biofuels (2014)

  5. "Noble-metal catalyzed hydrodeoxygenation of biomass-derived lignin to aromatic hydrocarbons," Green Chemistry (2014)

View all NREL Publications for Xiaowen Chen.