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Robert C. Brown
Professor & Director
Office: 411 Marston Hall
Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies http://www.cset.iastate.edu
Department: Mechanical Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Research Interests: Sustainable energy, carbon sequestration, biofuels
Brief description of current research:
Dr. Brown is an expert in thermochemical conversion of biomass and fossil fuels to heat, power, and transportation fuels. He is particularly interested in gasification and fast pyrolysis. Use of thermochemical processing residues (char) as a carbon sequestration agent in agricultural soils is an active area of collaboration with the department of agronomy. His research laboratory includes a variety of thermochemical reactors ranging from the micro-scale (mg samples) to the pilot scale (multiple tons processed per day). He also conducts technoeconomic analyses of thermochemical conversion processes to assess their commercial feasibility.
Wright, M. and Brown, R. C., Establishing the optimal sizes of different kinds of biorefineries, Biofuels, Bioprocessing, and Biorefineries 1, 191-200, 2007.
Wright, M. and Brown, R. C., Comparative economics of biorefineries based on the biochemical and thermochemical platforms, Biofuels, Bioprocessing, and Biorefineries 1, 49-56, 2007.
Brown, R. C., Hybrid thermochemical/biological processing of biomass, Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 137-140, 947 - 956, 2007.
Young, D., Smeenk, J., Broer, K. M., Kisting, C. J., Brown, R., Heindel, T. J., Bobik, T., and DiSpirito, A. A., Growth of Rhodospirillum rubrum on Synthesis Gas: Conversion of CO to H2 and Poly-b-hydroxyalkanoate, Biotechnology and Bioengineering 97 (2) 279-285, 2007.