Dr. David N. Thompson is a Distinguished Staff Engineer in the Bioenergy Technologies Department at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). He joined INL in 1995 as a Postdoctoral Research Associate and became full time staff in 1997 in the Biotechnologies Department. Over his career he has worked to develop and improve distributed methods for sustainably handling and processing renewable feedstocks, including industrial, municipal, and forest products process effluents and wastewaters, and renewable lignocellulosic agricultural residues such as cereal straws and corn stover. In other applications, he has applied biodegradation of lignocellulosics to the distributed bioremediation of acid mine drainage and to the biofiltration of volatile organic contaminants. In the field of heterogeneous chemical catalysis, he is a co-inventor of a patented technology for the sustainable regeneration of solid acid alkylation catalysts, which offers significant promise in the potential elimination of HF and H2SO4 used in the manufacture of motor fuel alkylate. He has served on project teams whose work has twice been nominated for R&D 100 Awards, winning this award in 2006. He is author or co-author of 41 peer reviewed journal articles and more than 140 reports, technical presentations, and other publications, and is a co-inventor on 46 U.S. patents and 6 foreign patents.
Dr. Thompson is the current Vice Chair of the Executive Board of the Program Committee (EBPC) in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and a past Chair of the Sustainable Engineering Forum (SEF) and the Sustainable Biorefineries Topical Conference. Additionally, he has served as a Director at Large for the Chemical Technology Operating Council (CTOC) and on the Advisory and Managing Boards of several AIChE Technical Entities including the Institute for Sustainability (IfS) and the Center for Energy Initiatives (CEI). Dr. Thompson has been active in programming within AIChE since 2002, and has served on several task forces within the EBPC targeted toward improving meeting quality and impact.
Dr. Thompson leads the Analysis Group within the INL Bioenergy Program, which receives its funding from the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) under Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) in the U.S Department of Energy. These analysis projects track progress toward BETO programmatic goals and technical targets, as well as explore market, risk and sustainability drivers for supply system design and development. Dr. Thompson has a BS from Purdue University (1987), and MS (1989) and PhD (1994) degrees from Michigan State University, all in chemical engineering.