Argonne National Laboratory

Seth Snyder - Biochemical engineer

Seth Snyder

Biofuels Technology Manager and Section Leader
- Energy Systems

Seth Snyder is the section leader of Process Technology Research in the Energy Systems Division at Argonne. His team develops new process technologies ranging from tree growth to fermentation and product separations with a focus on energy efficiency, advanced biofuels, biobased products, catalysis, solar, recycling, environmental, CO2 capture, and water technologies.

He serves as Argonne’s Technology Manager for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Biomass Technologies Office and President of the Council for Chemical Research. 

Snyder started his career as a postdoctoral fellow in photosynthesis at Argonne.  He then worked as a biochemist at Abbott Laboratories in Alzheimer’s disease and pharmaceutical discovery research.  In 1998, he rejoined Argonne as the associate director of the Chemistry Division where he developed new programs in nanoscience and applied biotechnology. He has been in Process Technology since 2001.

Snyder has published over 50 papers and 15 patents, and has received three R&D100 awards and an FLC Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer.

Awards, Honors, and Memberships

  • Council for Chemical Research – President
  • R&D 100 Awards – 2002, 2006, 2011
  • FLC Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer – 2012
  • DOE Office of Science Outstanding Mentor – 2007
  • DOE Biomass Technologies Office – Laboratory Technology Manager
  • Board member, affiliate faculty, or fellow of:
    • Northwestern University, McCormick School of Engineering – Adjunct Professor
    • University of Chicago, Energy Policy Institute of Chicago – Senior Fellow
    • University of Illinois (UIUC) - Institute for Genomics Biology – Affiliate Faculty
    • University of Chicago –Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology – Fellow
    • IUPUI – Richard G. Lugar Renewable Energy Center – Industrial Advisory Board
    • Center for Bioprocessing R&D (South Dakota) - Industrial Advisory Board
    • Center for Bioenergy R&D (NSF – IUCRC) – Chair of the Industrial Advisory Board
    • Illinois Sustainable Technology Center - Advisory Board
    • Initiative for a Carbon Negative Economy (Iowa State University) – Panelist
    • Association for the Advancement of Science Communication – Advisory Board
  • President, Council for Chemical Research
  • Member, Advisory Council & Lead Synthesis Team, Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative
  • Member, U.S.-China Agriculture Trade Experts Working Group, Henry Paulson Institute

Publications & Patents

  1. R. Datta, S.W. Snyder, R. D. Doctor, M.P. Henry “Biological Methane Production from Coal, Manure, Sludge, Wastes, or Other Carbonaceous Feedstocks with Simultaneous Sequestration of CO2”, 2010, U.S. Patent 8,247,009.
  2. Y.J. Lin, and S.W. Snyder, “Membrane Contactor Assisted Extraction/Reaction System Employing Ionic Liquids”, U.S. Patent 8,110,111.
  3. Y.P. Lin, S.W. Snyder, E. St. Martin, “Retention of Counterions in the Separative Bioreactor”, U.S. Patent 8,007,647.
  4. T. Rajh, Y. J. Lin, N. M. Dimitrijevic, S. W. Snyder, N. Sather, “Integrated Device and Substrate for Separating Charged Carriers and Reducing Photocorrosion: Method for the Photoelectrochemical Production of Electricity and Photocatalytic Production of Hydrogen”, U.S. Patent 7,981,261
  5. Y.J. Lin, M. P. Henry, S.W. Snyder, “Electronically and Ionically Conductive Porous Material and Method for Manufacture of Resin Wafers Therefrom”, U.S. Patent 7,977,395
  6. M.B. Arora, J.A. Hestekin, Y.P. Lin, E. J.  St. Martin, S.W. Snyder, “Method of stripping genetically tagged biomolecules from porous solid ion exchange wafer”, U.S. Patent 7,799,548
  7. S.W. Snyder, Y.J. Lin, J.A. Hestekin, M.P Henry, P. Pujado, A. Oroskar; Anil, S. Kulprathipanja, S. Randhava “Membrane contactor assisted water extraction system for separating hydrogen peroxide from a working solution, and method thereof”, U.S. Patent 7,799,225
  8. Y.J. Lin, M. P. Henry, S.W. Snyder, E. St. Martin, M. B. Arora, L. de la Garza, “Devices Using Resin Wafers and Applications Thereof”, U.S. Patent 7,507,318, PCT, and filed in Brazil, India, Australia.
  9. Y.J. Lin, M. P. Henry, S.W. Snyder, “Electronically and Ionically Conductive Porous Material and Method for Manufacture of Resin Wafers Therefrom”, U.S. Patent 7,452,920 (Utility) and PCT.
  10. M.B. Arora, J.A. Hestekin, Y.P. Lin, E. J.  St. Martin, S.W. Snyder, “Porous Solid Ion Exchange Wafer for Immobilizing Biomolecules”, U.S. Patent 7,306,934
  11. Y.J. Lin, M.P. Henry, J. Hestekin, S.W. Snyder, E. St. Martin, “Single-Stage Separation and Esterification of Cation Salt Carboxylates Using Electrodeionization”, U.S. Patent 7,141,154.
  12. P.D. Laible, S.W. Snyder “Engineered Photosynthetic Bacteria, Methods of Manufacture of Biofuels”, 2011 U.S. Patent Application 20110302830
  13. Y.J. Lin, S.W. Snyder, S. Datta, M.C. Trachtenberg, R. Cowen “Carbon Dioxide Capture Using Resin-Wafer Electrodeionization”, 2010 U.S. Patent Application 20100300894 (Notice of allowance received)
  14. Muntean, J.V., J. A. Libera, S. W. Snyder, T. Wu, D. C. Cronauer “Quantitative NMR Spectroscopy as a tool to evaluate chemical modification of deep hydrotreated recycled lube oils”, 2013, Energy and Fuels, 27(1), 133-137. (doi:10.1021/ef301490d)
  15. M. Urgun-Demirtas, P.S. Gillenwater, M.C. Negri, Y. Lin, S.W. Snyder, R.D. Doctor, L.M. Pierce, J.S. Alvarado “Achieving the Great Lakes Initiative mercury limits in oil refinery effluent”, Water Environment Research Journal, 2013, 85, 77-86 (doi:10.2175/106143012X13373575831033).
  16. M. Urgun-Demirtas, P.L. Benda, P.S. Gillenwater, M.C. Negri, H. Xiong, S.W. Snyder, “Achieving very low mercury levels in refinery wastewater by membrane filtration”, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 2012, 215-6, 98-107 (doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2012.02.040)
  17. P. S. Gillenwater, M. Urgun-Demirtas, M. C. Negri, S.W. Snyder “Comparative Evaluation of As, Se and V Removal Technologies for the Treatment of Oil Refinery Wastewater”, Water Science and Technology, 2012, 65(1), 112–118. (doi:10.2166/wst.2011.842)
  18. F. You, L. Tao, D.J. Graziano, S.W. Snyder “Optimal Design of Sustainable Cellulosic Biofuel Supply Chains:  Multiobjective Optimization Coupled with Life Cycle Assessment and Input-Output Analysis”, AIChE Journal, 2012, 58(4), 1157-1180 (doi:10.1002/aic.12637)
  19. G. Gopalakrishnan, M. C. Negri, S. W. Snyder, “A novel framework to classify marginal land for sustainable biomass feedstock production”, Journal of Environmental Quality, 2011, 40(5), 1593-1600 (doi:10.2134/jeq2010.0539)
  20. R.N. Gurram, S. Datta, Y.J. Lin, S.W. Snyder, T.J. Menkhaus, “Removal of Enzymatic and Fermentation Inhibitory Compounds from Biomass Slurries for Enhanced Biorefinery Process Efficiencies”, Bioresource Technology, 2011, 102, 7850–7859 (
  21. A. Rockett, Y.W. Chung, Y. W.; H. Blaschek, S. Butterfield, R. R. Chance, C. Ferekides, M. Robinson, S. W. Snyder, M. Thackeray “Transformative research issues and opportunities in alternative energy generation and storage”, Current Opinion in Solid State Materials Science, 2011, 15(1): 8-15 (doi:10.1016/j.cossms.2010.09.001)
  22. S. Datta, B. D. Bals, L. Pasieta, S. F. Ahmad, A. A. Moradia, Y. J. Lin, M. C. Negri, R. Datta, B. E. Dale, Seth W. Snyder “An Attempt towards Simultaneous Biobased Solvent Based Extraction of Proteins and Enzymatic Saccharification of Cellulosic Materials from Distiller’s Grains and Solubles”, Bioresource Technology, 2010, 101 (10), 5444-5448 (
  23. G. Gopalakrishnan, M. C. Negri, M. Wang, M. Wu, S.W. Snyder, L. LaFreniere “Biofuels, Land and Water: A Systems Approach to Sustainability”, Environmental Science and Technology, 2009, 43(15): 6094-6100. (
  24. M.B. Arora, J.A. Hestekin, S.W. Snyder, E. St. Martin, M. Donnelly, C. S. Millard, Y.P.  Lin “The Separative Bioreactor: A Continuous Separation Process for the Simultaneous Production and Direct Capture of Organic Acids, Separations Science and Technology, 2007, 2 (11): 2519-2538.
  25. J. A. Hestekin, E. G. Gilbert, M. P. Henry, R. Datta. E. J. St. Martin, S. W. Snyder “Modified Porous Nafion 112 Membranes: Characterization, Modeling, and Emulsion Separations”, Journal of Membrane Science, 2006, 281: 268-273.