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Brad Wahlen, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Areas:
Biofuels Characterization

Dr. Bradley D. Wahlen has been a staff scientist in the Biological Processing Group at Idaho National Laboratory since 2014. He holds baccalaureate and doctorate degrees in biochemistry from Idaho State University and Utah State University, respectively. Brad has a background in microbial metabolism, enzymology, biochemical characterization, mineral processing and biomass preprocessing. Brad is currently working on challenges related to algae biomass and herbaceous feedstock logistics. The algae research is focused on maintaining dry matter and quality in storage operations to overcome seasonal variations in productivity. The lignocellulosic biomass research is focused on reducing recalcitrance and costs associated with producing fuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass. Brad is also interested in biotechnologies to enhance water and material recovery from a variety of industrial processes.

Digital Profiles:

​Ph.D., Biochemistry - Utah State University

B.S., Biochemistry - Idaho State University


​American Chemical Society

Algae Biomass Organization



​Wahlen, BD, LM Wendt, JA Murphy, F Seibel. Mitigation of variable seasonal productivity in algae biomass through blending and ensiling: an assessment of compositional changes in storage. Manuscript submitted to Algal Research (2/13/2019).

Wendt, LM, C Kinchin, BD Wahlen, R Davis, T Dempster, H Gerken. Assessing the stability and techno-economic implications for wet storage of harvested microalgae to manage seasonal variability. Biotechnology for Biofuels (2019), 12:80, doi:10.1186/s13068-019-1420-0.

Hess, D, LM Wendt, BD Wahlen, JE Aston, H Hu, JC Quinn. Techno-economic analysis of ash removal in biomass harvested from algal turf scrubbers. Biomass Bioenergy (2019), 123, pages 149-158, doi: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2019.02.010.

Aston, JE, BD Wahlen, RW Davis, AJ Siccardi, LM Wendt. Application of alkaline extraction to remove ash from algae harvested from an algal turf scrubber. Algal Research (2018), 35, pages 370-377, doi:10.1016/j.algal.2018.09.006.

Wendt, LM, BD Wahlen, C Li, G Kachurin, KL Ogden, and JA Murphy. Evaluation of a high-moisture stabilization strategy for harvested microalgae blended with herbaceous biomass: Part I—Storage performance. Algal Research (2017), 25, pages 567–75, doi:10.1016/j.algal.2017.05.016.

Wendt, LM, BD Wahlen, C Li, JA Ross, DM Sexton, JC Lukas, DS Hartley, and JA Murphy. Evaluation of a high-moisture stabilization strategy for harvested microalgae blended with herbaceous biomass: Part II — Techno-economic assessment. Algal Research (2017), 25, pages 558–66, doi:10.1016/j.algal.2017.04.015.

Newby, DT, T Matthews, RC Pate, MH. Huesemann, TW Lane, BD Wahlen, R Engler, K Feris, and JB Shurin. Assessing the potential of polyculture to accelerate algal biofuel production. Algal Research (2016), 19, pages 264–77, doi:10.1016/j.algal.2016.09.004.

Wahlen, BD, MS Roni, KG Cafferty, LM Wendt, TL Westover, DM Stevens, and D. Newby. Managing variability in algal biomass production through drying and stabilization of feedstock blends. Algal Research (2017), 24A, pages 9-18, doi:10.1016/j.algal.2017.03.005.


TAS Bell, B Prithiviraj, BD Wahlen, MW Fields, BM Peyton, Temporal Eukarya, Bacteria, and Archaea biodiversity during cultivation of an alkaliphilic algae, Chlorella vulgaris, in an outdoor raceway pond. Submitted to Frontiers in Microbiology August 2, 2015.

RM Willis, AT McCurdy, MK Ogborn, BD Wahlen, JC Quinn, LF Pease III, LC Seefeldt, Improving energetics of triacylglyceride extraction from wet oleaginous microbes. Bioresource Technology (2014), 167, pages 416-424.

BD Wahlen, MT Morgan, AT McCurdy, RM Willis, MD Morgan, DJ Dye, B Bugbee, BD Wood, and LC Seefeldt, Biodiesel from microalgae, yeast, and bacteria: engine performance and exhaust emissions. Energy and Fuels (2013), 27, pages 220-228.

Barney, BM, BD Wahlen, EL Garner, J Wei, and LC Seefeldt. Differences in substrate specificities of five wax ester synthases. Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2012), 78, pages 5734-5745.

Adams, C, V Godfrey, BD Wahlen, LC Seefeldt, B Bugbee. Understanding precision nitrogen stress to optimize the growth and lipid content tradeoff in oleaginous green microalgae. Bioresource Technology (2013), 131, pages 188-194.

Willis, RM, BD Wahlen, LC Seefeldt, and BM Barney.  Characterization of a fatty acyl-CoA reductase from Marinobacter aquaeolei VT8: a novel bacterial enzyme catalyzing the reduction of fatty acyl-CoA to fatty alcohol. Biochemistry (2011), 50, pages 10550-10558.

Wahlen, BD, RM Willis, and LC Seefeldt.  Biodiesel production by simultaneous extraction and conversion of total lipids from microalgae, cyanobacteria, and wild mixed-cultures. Bioresource Technology (2011). 102, pages 2724-2730.

Wahlen, BD, WS Oswald, LC Seefeldt, and BM Barney. Purification and characterization of an NADPH-dependent fatty aldehyde reductase from Marinobacter aquaeolei VT8:  role in bacterial wax ester production. Applied and Environment Microbiology (2009). 75, pages 2758-2764.

Wahlen, BD, BM Barney, and LC Seefeldt. Synthesis of biodiesel from mixed feedstocks and longer-chain alcohols using an acid-catalyzed method. Energy and Fuels (2008) 22, pages 4223–4228.


​Wendt, LM, BD Wahlen, C Li. Methods of preserving a microalgae biomass and a preserved microalgae biomass. Application,


Wahlen, BD, BM Barney, and LC Seefeldt. Fatty aldehyde reductase. (Accessed on January 25, 2014).

Wahlen, BD, LC Seefeldt, AT McCurdy, and RM Willis. Methods for production of biodiesel. (Accessed on January 25, 2014).

RM Willis, BD Wahlen, LC Seefeldt, and BM Barney. Reductase Enzymes. (Accessed on January 25, 2014).


​BD Wahlen, LM Wendt, S Traynor, T Dempster, H Gerken, Effect of nitrogen management in cultivation on stability of post-harvest algae biomass. Poster presentation, Algae Biomass Summit, September 2019.

BD Wahlen, LM Wendt, T Dempster, H Gerken, Compositional changes to Nannochloropsis gaditana biomass in long-term wet anaerobic storage. Oral presentation 9th International Conference on Algal Biomass and Bioproducts. June 2019.

BD Wahlen, LM Wendt, T Dempster, H Gerken, B Fornes, S Alrobaie. Screening bacterial inoculants for the optimization of wet anaerobic storage and preservation of saline microalgae biomass. Poster presentation, 8th International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts. June 2018.

BD Wahlen, LM Wendt, B Fornes, H Gerken, T Dempster. Algae storage optimization. Poster presentation, Algae Biomass Summit. October 2017.

BD Wahlen, LM Wendt, JA Murphy, T Dempster, H Gerken, T Lundquist, and R Spierling. Evaluation of long-term wet stabilization approaches in freshwater and saline microalgae strains. Poster presentation, 7th International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts. June 2017.


BD Wahlen. Microbial catalysts for the production of chemicals and fuels. Oral presentation, Early Career Research Symposium, Idaho National Laboratory, July 30, 2015.

Newby, DT, BD Wahlen*, DM Stevens, JA Lacey, MS Roni, and KG Cafferty. Demonstration and logistics analysis of low cost stabilization of algae biomass through blending with terrestrial biomass. Oral presentation (*presenter), 5th International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels, & Bioproducts, June, 2015.

Newby, DT, BD Wahlen, DM Stevens, B Bugbee, L Anderson, JA Lacey. Stabilization of algal feedstocks through formulation with terrestrial feedstocks. Poster Algal Biomass Summit 2014, September, 2014.

Wahlen, BD, RM Willis, B Wood, and LC Seefeldt. Biodiesel production by simultaneous extraction and conversion of total lipids from microalgae, cyanobacteria, and wild mixed-cultures.  Poster Algal Biomass Summit 2010, September, 2010.

Version: 10.0
Created at 10/13/2016 11:40 AM by Phyllis L. King
Last modified at 11/30/2019 9:49 AM by