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B. Brian He, Ph.D., P.E.

B. Brian He, Ph.D., P.E.

Professor

Office

James Martin Lab 81A

Phone

208-885-7435

Mailing Address

Biological Engineering
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 0904
Moscow, Idaho 83844-0904

  • Ph.D., Agricultural Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000
  • M.S., Biosystems Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1996
  • M.S., Organic Chemical Engineering, Tianjin University, 1986
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Tianjin University, 1983

  • Utilization of bio-based resources for value-added products and renewable energy through biological / biochemical / thermochemical processing.

Brian He is a chemical engineer by training and has had more than seven years of industrial experience. He is a licensed professional engineer of Chemical Engineering in Idaho. He’s expertise is in the areas of processing of biobased resources for renewable energy and value-added products. He teaches in the areas of engineering analysis and design, bioprocess engineering, biofuels and biomass thermochemical conversion technologies at the University of Idaho.

As a PI / co-PI, he has conducted multiple research projects totaling approximately $3.5 million in funding in the past 14 years at U of I. He has published peer-reviewed research papers in the areas of biodiesel production and utilization, biomass conversion for renewable energy, biofuels and glycerol conversion for value-added applications.

He has been actively involved in the USDA sponsored Biodiesel Education Program during the past 12 years and has presented at conferences, technical and business meetings and workshops on biodiesel production and utilization to various audiences. He has served as a proposal review panelist for multiple federal and state grant programs, including USDA, DOE and NSF, in the area of biomass conversion and renewable energy. He is also an ad hoc reviewer for numerous scientific journals and grant programs.

Book Chapters

  • He, B., Jon H. Van Gerpen, Matthew J. Morra, and Armando G. McDonald. 2016. Chapter 26: Lipid-based Biorefinery. In Bioenergy: Principles and Applications. Editors: Y. Li and S. Khanal. Wiley (in press).
  • Van Gerpen, J., and B. He. 2014. Chapter 14: Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Production. In Advances in Biorefineries - Biomass and waste supply chain exploitation. Pages 441-475. Editor: Keith Waldron. Woodhead Publishing Ltd (UK) (ISBN: 978-0-85709-521-3).
  • Van Gerpen, J.H., and B. He. 2010. Chapter 15: Biodiesel Production and Properties. In Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass to Liquid Fuels and Chemicals. Pages 382-415. Editor: Mark Crocker. London, UK: Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing (ISBN-10: 1849730358).
  • Hansen, A.C., and B. He. 2010. Biodiesel fuels for off-road vehicles. In Encyclopedia of Agricultural, Food and Biological Engineering, 2nd edition, 1:114-116. Editor: Dennis R. Heldman. Taylor & Francis Group (ISBN: 978-1-4398-1111-5).

Journal articles

  • Bi, Z. and B. He. 2016. Phospholipid Transesterification in Sub-/Super-critical Methanol with the Presence of Free Fatty Acids. Fuel 166(2):461-466 (doi:10.1016/j.fuel.2015.11.009)
  • Bi, Z., B. He, and A. McDonald. 2015. Biodiesel Production from Green Microalgae Schizochytrium limacinum via in situ Transesterification. Energy and Fuels (published online on July 14; DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.5b00559)
  • Maglinao, R, and B. He. 2015. Optimization of in situ hydrogenolysis of glycerol to propylene glycol and ethanol. Biofuels 55(5):569-577 (doi:10.1080/17597269.2014.1002998).
  • Kafle, G., L. Chen, H. Neibling, and B. He. 2015. Field evaluation of wood bark-based down-flow biofilters in mitigating odor, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide emissions from confined swine nursery barns. Journal of Environmental Management 147:164-174 (doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.09.004).
  • B. He. 2014. Removal of heterogeneous elements: another critical step towards microalgal biofuels utilization. Biofuels 5(1):1-3 (doi:10.4155/bfs.13.60).
  • Bi, Z., and B. He. 2013. Characterization of microalgae for the purpose of biofuels production. Trans. ASABE 56(4):1529-1539 (doi:10.13031/trans.56.10090).
  • Maglinao, R, and B. He. 2012. Verification of propylene glycol preparation from glycerol via acetol pathway by in situ hydrogenolysis. Biofuels 3(6):675-682 (doi:10.4155/BFS.12.65).
  • He, B., and J. H. Van Gerpen. 2012. Application of ultrasonication in transesterification processes for biodiesel production. Biofuels 3(4): 479-488 (doi:10.4155/bfs.12.35).
  • He, B., and J. H. van Gerpen. 2012. Analyzing biodiesel for contaminants and moisture retention. Biofuels 3(3): 351-360 (doi:10.4155/bfs.12.19).
  • Maglinao, R, and B. He. 2011. Catalytic thermochemical conversion of glycerol to simple and polyhydric alcohols using Raney nickel catalyst. Ind. & Eng. Chem. Research 50 (10): 6028–6033 (doi: 10.1021/ie102573m).
  • Hansen, A., B. He, and N. Engeseth. 2011. Food versus fuel characteristics of vegetable oils and animal fats. Trans. ASABE 54(4): 1407-1414 (doi:10.13031/2013.25154).

  • Biobased Energy Educational Material Exchange System (BEEMS). $59,800. 10/09 — 09/12. USDA Higher Education Challenge Grants. Brian He (PI). Collaborated with Ohio State University and three other universities. The total project award was $459,867.
  • Application of Metal Catalysts for High Selectivity of Glycerol Conversion to Alcohols. $50,000 (KLK 758). 08/09 — 12/10. National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology. Brian He (PI).
  • National biodiesel education program (Phase 2). $1,000,000. USDA Biodiesel Fuel Education Program. 10/08 — 09/13. Jon Van Gerpen, Brian He (co-PI), Doug Haines, Dev Shrestha.
  • Thermal processing of low-grade glycerol to alcohols for biodiesel production $141,171 ($78,092 for Year 1, KLK 750; $63,079 for Year 2, KLK 754). 08/07 — 12/09. National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology. Brian He (PI).
  • Washington State Ferries Biodiesel Utilization Project. $68,171. US DOE through Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. 01/07 — 01/09. Brian He (PI), Jon Van Gerpen. Collaborated with Washington State University. The total project award was $299,950.
  • Biodiesel Quality Affected by Sulfur Content Originated from Different Feedstocks and A Database for the Same. $59,327 (KLK 432). National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology. 08/06 — 12/07. Brian He (PI), Jon Van Gerpen.
  • A virtual education center for biorenewable resources: building capacity and humanizing distance education. $122,500. USDA Higher Education Challenge Grants. 10/06 —09/09. Jon Van Gerpen, Brian He (co-PI). Collaborated with Iowa State University (the lead institution) and University of Kentucky. The total project award was $489,929.

  • National biodiesel education program (Phase 3). $576,000 (FGK 001). USDA Biodiesel Fuel Education Program (award #2014-45300-22312). 10/2014 – 09/2017. Jon Van Gerpen, Brian He (co-PI), and Dev Shrestha.
  • Multiple enhanced-value co-products from regionally important oilseed feedstocks. $599,210. USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Research (Award #: 20116700920094). 07/2011-12/2015. M. Morra, Brian He (co-PI, spending right $194,623, BFK 007), C. Nindo.
  • Advancing glycerol conversion technology for commercialization for sustainable biodiesel industry. $50,000 (BF2889). Idaho State Board of Education (award # IF13-005). 07/2012 – 06/2013. Brian He (PI).
  • In situ transesterification of microalgal oil to produce algal biodiesel (Phase 2). $69,922 (KLK902). US Department of Transportation, via University Transportation Center (UTC) program (grant # DTRT12-G-UTC17) at the University of Idaho. 07/2012 – 06/2013. Brian He (PI).
  • Production of renewable diesel fuel from biologically-based feedstocks. $59,998.40 (KLK848). US Department of Transportation, via the Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans; USDOT grant # DTRT12-G-UTC10) at the University of Washington. 07/2012 – 06/2013. Jon Van Gerpen, Brian He (co-PI).
  • Implementation of biofiltration technology. $328,328 (BFK 010). USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. 09/2011– 08/2014. Lide Chen, Howard Neibling, Brian He (co-PI), Mario Emanuel DeHaro Marti.
  • Production of renewable diesel fuel from biologically-based feedstocks (Year 2). $90,000 (KLK 766). National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology. 08/2011 – 07/2012. Jon Van Gerpen, Brian He (co-PI).
  • In situ transesterification of microalgal oil to produce algal biodiesel (Phase 1). $57,000 (KLK 768). National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology. 08/2011 – 07/2012. Brian He (PI).
  • Production of renewable diesel fuel from biologically-based feedstocks (Year 1). $70,000 (KLK759). National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology. 08/2010 – 07/2011. Jon Van Gerpen, Brian He (co-PI).
  • Continuous-flow reactor system for improved catalytic glycerol conversion. $55,000 (KLK 765). National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology. 08/2010 – 12/2011. Brian He (PI).
  • Biobased Energy Educational Material Exchange System (BEEMS). $59,800. 10/09 – 09/12. USDA Higher Education Challenge Grants. Brian He (PI). Collaborated with Ohio State University and other 3 universities. The total project award was $459,867.
  • Application of Metal Catalysts for High Selectivity of Glycerol Conversion to Alcohols. $50,000 (KLK 758). 08/09 – 12/10. National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology. Brian He (PI).
  • National biodiesel education program (Phase 2). $1,000,000. USDA Biodiesel Fuel Education Program. 10/08 –09/13. Jon Van Gerpen, Brian He (co-PI), Doug Haines, Dev Shrestha.

  • Most influential faculty member, Alumni Associate, University of Idaho.
  • Superior Paper Award. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). 2007. First & corresponding author.
  • Faculty Excellence Award. Naval ROTC at U of I/WSU. 2007.
  • Nominee, R.M. Wade Excellence in Teaching award. College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Idaho. 2006.
  • Teacher of the Year. Biological and Agricultural Engineering, U of I. 2006.
  • Nominee, R.M. Wade Excellence in Teaching award. College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Idaho. 2004.
  • Teacher of the Year. Biological and Agricultural Engineering, U of I. 2004.
  • Superior Paper Award. American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE). 2001. First & corresponding author.
  • Gamma Sigma Delta, Honor Society of Agriculture. Inducted in 1998.
  • Alpha Epsilon, Agricultural Engineering Honor Society. Inducted in 1997.

Contact Us

Engineering/Physics Building

Mailing Address:

Biological Engineering
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 0904
Moscow, ID 83844-0904

Phone: 208-885-6182

Fax: 208-885-7908

Email: bioengr@uidaho.edu

Web: Map

Biological Engineering