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Brad Wahlen, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Research Areas:
Biofuels Characterization

Dr. Bradley D. Wahlen is a research scientist in the department of Biological and Chemical Processing at Idaho National Laboratory with a background in microbial metabolism and enzymology. As a doctoral student at Utah State University, he worked on projects related to the production and characterization of biofuels from microbes (algae, yeast and bacteria) and continues to have a strong interest in the biological production of chemicals and fuel. Currently (2016), he is working on storage technologies to overcome logistical challenges to microalgae biofuel production and approaches to develop co-products that could make algae biofuel economically sustainable. He comes to INL from the mineral processing industry where he worked as a research chemist to develop biological and chemical processes to overcome challenges to gold, copper, and titanium production. He received his doctorate in biochemistry from Utah State University and his bachelor’s from Idaho State University, where he was honored as the Thomas F. Emery Research Scholar-Outstanding Graduate Student in Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (USU) and the Department of Biological Sciences’ Outstanding Graduating Student in 2006 (ISU).


​Ph.D., Biochemistry - Utah State University

B.S., Biochemistry - Idaho State University


​American Chemical Society


​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.


​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. 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: 2.0
Created at 10/13/2016 11:40 AM by Phyllis L. King
Last modified at 10/13/2016 11:41 AM by Phyllis L. King