Argonne National Laboratory

Seth Snyder

Seth Snyder

Water Initiative Leader
- Energy and Global Security

Seth W. Snyder is the leader of Argonne National Laboratory's water initiative. In this role, he coordinates work with other U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories to address the Energy-Water Nexus. He also coordinates a regional initiative in water investment in Chicago. Previously he served as Bioenergy Technology Manager and leader of Process Technology Research. He is a Senior Fellow in the University of Chicago's Energy Policy Institute at Chicago. He is also a Fellow at the Institute of Molecular Engineering and the Northwestern-Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering.

He has developed and worked on leading technology and engineering in renewable energy, water, produced water, and energy efficiency. His work has resulted in 3 R&D 100 Awards and an FLC Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer. He has published over 60 papers, has 19 patents, and has had his work presented at over 90 conferences over the past decade. He recently published a book, Commercializing Biobased Products, for the Royal Society of Chemistry.

He co-founded AD Up Energy LLC to commercialize his group's enhanced anaerobic digestion (wastewater) technology. He has an ongoing collaboration with Ben Gurion University of the Negev on membranes for wastewater treatment. He teaches a graduate course on energy and an undergraduate course on sustainability at Northwestern University. He is the former President of the Council for Chemical Research, a 501(c)(3).

Awards, Honors, and Memberships

Current advisory board roles

  • College of the Environment and Ecology, Xiamen University, Xiamen China
  • National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, State of Illinois
  • Richard G. Lugar Renewable Energy Center, Indiana University and Purdue University
  • Initiative for a Carbon Negative Economy, Iowa State University
  • Global Methane Initiative, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


  • 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
    • 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

Google Scholar citations
U.S. 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.