Robert C. Brown

[PHOTO]Robert C. Brown
Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering
Iowa State University

Director, Bioeconomy Institute
Iowa State University


[BOOk]Why Are We Producing Biofuels

Why are We Producing Biofuels?

By Robert C. Brown, Tristan R. Brown
“Why Are We Producing Biofuels?” is written for those who are curious about efforts to introduce biofuels into our energy supply but are not satisfied with the publicly accessible information on the subject. Written by experts in the field, this book provides educators, policy makers, business leaders, and the general public with an insider’s understanding of the current research in the field as well as an appreciation of the debates surrounding biofuels.  See at

[BOOK]Thermochemical Processing of Biomass

Thermochemical Processing of Biomass: Conversion into Fuels, Chemicals and Power

By Robert C. Brown
“Thermochemical Processing of Biomass” examines the large number of possible pathways for converting biomass into fuels, chemicals and power through the use of heat and catalysts. The book presents a practical overview of the latest research in this rapidly developing field, highlighting the fundamental chemistry, technical applications, and operating costs associated with thermochemical conversion strategies. Bridging the gap between research, and practical application, this book is written for engineering professionals in the biofuels industry, as well as academic researchers working in bioenergy, bioprocessing technology, and chemical engineering.

Biorenewable Resources: Engineering New Products from Agriculture

By Robert C. Brown
Immense potential for sustainable development lies in the production of fuels, chemicals, and materials from bioresources. This timely book provides comprehensive coverage of the engineering systems that convert agricultural crops and residues into bioenergy and biobased products. Leading the way as the first textbook for coursework on biobased products, “Biorenewable Resources: Engineering New Products from Agriculture” covers not only pertinent technologies but offers a primer on necessary foundation subjects the student or other reader may lack: organic chemistry, thermodynamics, plant science, crop production, environmental science, and process economics.

Contact Information

1140E Biorenewables Research Laboratory Building
Ames, IA 50011
515-294-7934 voice
515-294-3091 fax


B.S., Physics, University of Missouri, 1976
B.A., Mathematics, University of Missouri, 1976
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University, 1977
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University, 1980

Personal Web Site

Areas of Interest

Biorenewable resources
Thermochemical and biological conversion of biomass
Biopolymers and other value-added products from syngas fermentation
Hydrogen fuel from biomass gasification
Bio-oils from fast pyrolysis of biomass

Bioeconomy Institute trading card