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Rick Orth

Rick Orth

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352


Dr. Orth joined the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in 1992 after working for four years for Unocal Corporation. During his career at PNNL, he has been involved in process development activities at the technical, project management and group management levels. More specifically, Dr. Orth has been involved with the development of processes for conversion of biobased materials to value-added chemicals and fuels. Examples include processes for the recovery of value-added chemicals from wheat mill feed and corn fiber. Dr. Orth is currently the Technical Group Manager of the Chemical and Biological Process Development Group. This group is comprised of over 50 staff who are involved in research and process development activities related to biochemical, thermochemical and catalytic conversion of biobased materials to value-added chemicals and fuels. The group resides in the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory (BSEL) that is located on the Washington State University-Tri-Cities Campus in Richland, Washington.

Research Interests

  • Chemical and biological process development
  • Biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Washington State University, 1988
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, Washington State University, 1985
  • B.S., Biology, University of Washington, 1981

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Technical Proposal Reviewer (National Bioenergy Center), 2004-2005
  • Member of the Minerals, Metals, & Materials Society, (TMS)1988-1996
  • Metals and Materials Waste Reduction, Recovery and Remediation Symposium Co-organizer and Co-editor of Symposium Volume at the 1994 Materials Week, co-sponsored by the Materials Information Society and the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society
  • Reactive Metals Session Organizer and Session Chairman at the 1994 Annual TMS Meeting
  • Journal of Metals Representative for the Reactive Metals
  • Committee, TMS 1993-1994
  • Reactive Metals Committee Chairman for TMS, 1992-1993
  • Reactive Metals Committee Vice-Chairman for TMS, 1991-1992

PNNL Patents

PNNL Publications


  • Stiles D.L., S.A. Jones, R.J. Orth, B.F. Saffell, and Y. Zhu. 2008. Biofuels in Oregon and Washington: A Business Case Analysis of Opportunities and Challenges. PNNL-17351. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


  • Orth R.J., C. Abbas, and R. Shunk. 2003. "Profitable to the Last Drop: New Process Captures Valuable Components from Corn Fiber." Resource. Engineering & Technology for a Sustainable World 10, no. 3:5-6. PNNL-SA-37932.


  • Elliott D.C., R.J. Orth, J. Gao, T.A. Werpy, D.E. Eakin, A.J. Schmidt, and G.G. Neuenschwander. 2002. "Biorefinery Concept Development Based On Wheat Flour Milling." In Fuel Chemistry Division Preprints American Chemical Society National Meeting, April 2002, 47, 361-362. Washington, District Of Columbia:American Chemical Society. PNNL-SA-35705.
  • Elliott D.C., R.J. Orth, T.A. Werpy, J. Gao, D.E. Eakin, A.J. Schmidt, and G.G. Neuenschwander, et al. 2002. "Biorefinery Concept Development Based on Wheat Flour Milling." In Bioenergy 2002, edited by John Crockett and Charles L. Peterson, 35. Boise, Idaho:Pacific Regional Biomass Energy Program. PNNL-SA-36480.
  • Jones E.O., J.D. Holladay, S.T. Perry, R.J. Orth, R.T. Rozmiarek, J. Hu, and M.R. Phelps, et al. 2002. "Sub-watt Power Using an Integrated Fuel Processor and Fuel Cell." In Microreaction Technology, IMRET IV - Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Microreaction Technology, edited by M. Matlosz, W. Ehrfield, et al., 277-285. Berlin, :Springer-Verlag. PNWD-SA-5296.


  • Lilga M.A., R.J. Orth, J.H. Sukamto, S.D. Rassat, J.D. Genders, and R. Gopal. 2001. "Cesium Separation Using Electrically Switched Ion Exchange." Separation Science and Technology 24, no. 3:451-466. PNNL-SA-32869.


  • Lilga M.A., R.J. Orth, and J.H. Sukamto. 1999. "Metal Ion Separations Using Electrically Switched Ion Exchange." In Metal Separation Technologies Beyond 2000: Integrating Novel Chemistry with Processing., 269-280. Warrendale, Pennsylvania:Minerals, Metals & Materials Society. PNNL-SA-31507.
  • Rassat S.D., J.H. Sukamto, R.J. Orth, M.A. Lilga, and R.T. Hallen. 1999. "Development of Electrically Switched Ion Exchange Process for Selective Ion Separations." Separation and Purification Technology 15, no. 3:207-222. PNNL-SA-29955.

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