David Sievers

Research Activity per Year


Personal Profile

David Sievers launched his career as a biopharmaceutical industry consultant and has been advancing next-generation biofuels research and development as a research engineer at NREL since 2007. His goal is to reduce the projected costs of  biofuels through the development and refinement of process technologies at the bench and pilot scales. David is an expert at scaling up and demonstrating technologies at the pilot scale, including feedstock handling, pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, fermentation, solid-liquid separation, concentration, and distillation. He currently leads a core research group studying reactive separations and has led several successful industrial partnerships at the pilot scale, including demonstration of a complete corn-cobs-to-ethanol process, scale-up of an n-butanol fermentation process, and demonstration of a malonic acid and fermentation and refining process. 

Research Interests

Thermochemical pretreatment residence-time distribution measurement and control

Solid-liquid separation and fractionation of bioprocess slurries

Reactive separations: continuous enzymatic hydrolysis

Sugar fractionation and concentration

Specialized instrumentation development for real-time measurements

Big data analysis and communication of results through multimedia forms

Professional Experience

Licensed Professional Engineer (2010–present)

R&D Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (2007–present)

Process Engineer, ZAP Engineering (2006–2007)

Pharmaceutical Engineer, JM Hyde Consulting (2004–2006)

Education/Academic Qualification

Bachelor, Chemical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines


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