At the recent AIChE 2018 Spring Meeting, RAPID Technical Program Manager, Ignasi Palou-Rivera interviewed Prof. Brown, the founding director of the Bioeconomy Institute (BEI) at Iowa State and noted author of several books on biofuels, biomass and biorenewables.  (Iowa State is currently a project lead on one of RAPID’s jump start projects.)

When it comes to process intensification, there is tremendous potential in renewable bioproducts and Dr. Brown explains the benefits of autothermal pyrolysis for the conversion of biomass into fuels and chemicals. He also discusses his goals in continuing to develop the technology, additional applications that can be adapted for the petroleum industry in the production of polymers, and eventual plans for commercialization. Dr. Brown also notes the importance of RAPID membership in helping move his project forward. 


On December 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the establishment of the 10th Manufacturing USA Institute, the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Institute. Leveraging up to $70 million in federal funding, RAPID is focused on developing breakthrough technologies and equipment to boost energy productivity and energy efficiency. RAPID will employ approaches to modular chemical process intensification (MCPI) used in a variety of industries. In the chemical industry alone, these technologies have the potential to save more than $9 billion annually.  More information about RAPID is available at or contact Rose-Marie Brandwein, Director of Membership and Marketing Communications for membership inquiries at