University of California, Riverside

Bourns College of Engineering

Charles Wyman

Faculty Profile

Faculty Profile

Charles Wyman

Ford Motor Company, Chair
Professor of Chemical & Environmental Engineering
Charles Wyman

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering
Princeton University, 1971

Bourns Hall A215
University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521

Telephone: 951-827-5703
Facsimile: 951-827-5696
Personal Website

Former Institution: Queneau Distinguished Professor in Environmental Engineering Design at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College


Cofounder, Chief Development Officer, and chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for Mascoma Corporation, a startup company focused on biomass conversion to ethanol and other products.

Director of Technology for BC International in Dedham, Massachusetts; Director of the Biotechnology Center for Fuels and Chemicals at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado; Director of the NREL Alternative Fuels Division; Manager of the NREL Biotechnology Research Branch; Section Manager, Program Manager, Senior Engineer, and Staff Engineer at NREL; Manager of Process Development for Badger Engineers; Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of New Hampshire; and a Senior Chemical Engineer with Monsanto Company.


  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering 1971 Princeton University
  • M.A. Chemical Engineering 1969 Princeton University
  • MBA Business Administration 1988 University of Denver
  • B.S. Chemical Engineering 1967 University of Massachusetts


  • Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science, 2006
  • C.D. Scott Award in Biotechnology, 1999
  • Honorary Master of Arts, Dartmouth College, 2004
  • NREL Hubbard Leadership Award, 1992
  • NREL Staff Leadership Award, 1991
  • Beta Gamma Sigma
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Sigma Xi
  • Tau Beta Pi
  • Who's Who in Science and Engineering
  • Who's Who in the West
  • Who's Who in the World
  • Who's Who of Emerging Leaders in America

Research Areas

Dr. Wyman's research targets biological conversion of abundant, non-food sources of cellulosic biomass to commodity products including ethanol for use as a transportation fuel, an area on which he has focused almost exclusively since 1980, with emphasis on pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. e He has long believed that biomass is the most economical way to store solar energy, biofuels present the only sustainable option to reduce our petroleum dependence for liquid transportation fuels on a large scale, and modern biotechnology will dramatically reduce costs of making cost-competitive fuels and chemicals from biomass with tremendous environmental, economic, and strategic benefits. Thus, a substantial portion of our research is directed at experiments and modeling to enhance our knowledge of the most expensive and critical unit operations for biological conversion of cellulosic biomass to ethanol and other products: pretreatment and cellulose and hemicellulose hydrolysis. In addition, a second element focuses on the design of systems for converting biomass into fuels and chemicals with the goal of identifying opportunities to advance technology and substantially reduce costs. A third element applies life cycle analyses and other tools to better understand the environmental and societal impacts and benefits of converting biomass to fuels and chemicals and help us identify process configurations with even more favorable features as well as define policies to accelerate use of beneficial processes.

Selected Publications

  • Yang B, Wyman CE. 2009. “Dilute Acid and Autohydrolysis Pretreatment,” in Biofuels Methods and Protocols Series, Jonathan Mielenz, Ed, Methods in Molecular Biology: Biofuels, 581, Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, in press.
  • Kumar R. Wyman CE. 2009. “Access of Cellulase to Cellulose and Lignin for Poplar Solids Produced by Leading Pretreatment Technologies," Biotechnology Progress, in press.
  • Kumar R. Wyman CE. 2009. “Cellulase Adsorption and Relationship to Features for Corn Stover Solids Produced by Leading Pretreatments,” Biotechnology and Bioengineering, in press.
  • Mielenz JR, Bardsley JS, Wyman CE. 2008. “Fermentation of Soybean Hulls to Ethanol While Preserving Protein Value,” Bioresource Technology, in press.
  • Yang B, Wyman CE. 2009. “Cellulosic Biorefineries for Production of Ethanol as well as Other Products in California,” California Agriculture Journal, in press.
  • Kumar R. Wyman CE. 2009. “Effect of Xylanase Supplementation of Cellulase on Digestion of Corn Stover Solids Prepared by Leading Pretreatment Technologies,” Bioresource Technology, 100: 4203-4213.
  • Kumar R, Wyman CE. 2009. “Does Change in Accessibility With Conversion Depend on Both the Substrate and Pretreatment Technology?” Bioresource Technology100:4193-4202.
  • Kumar R, Mago G, Balan V, Wyman CE. 2009. “Physical and Chemical Characterizations of Corn Stover and Poplar Solids Resulting from Leading Pretreatment Technologies Bioresource Technology 100(17): 3948-3962.
  • Wyman CE, Dale BE, Elander RT, Holtzapple M, Ladisch MR, Lee YY, Mitchinson C, Saddler JN. 2008. “Comparative Sugar Recovery and Fermentation Data Following Pretreatment of Poplar Wood y Leading Technologies,” Biotechnology Progress 25(2): 333-339.
  • Kumar R, Wyman CE. 2008. “Effects of Cellulase and Xylanase Enzymes on the Deconstruction of Solids from Pretreatment of Poplar by Leading Technologies,” Biotechnology Progress 25(2): 302-314.
  • Kumar R. Wyman CE. 2008. “Effect of Additives on the Digestibility of Corn Stover Solids Following Pretreatment by Leading Technologies,” Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 102(6): 1544-1557.
  • Kumar K, Wyman CE. 2008. “Effect of Enzyme Supplementation at Moderate Cellulase Loadings on Initial Glucose and Xylose Release from Corn Stover Solids Pretreated by Leading Technologies,” Biotechnology and Bioengineering 102(2): 457-467.
  • Shao X, Lynd L, Wyman C, Bakker A. 2008. “Kinetic Modeling of Cellulosic Biomass to Ethanol via Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation: Part I. Accommodation of Intermittent Feeding and Analysis of Staged Reactors,” Biotechnology and Bioengineering 102: 59-65.
  • Shao X, Lynd L, Wyman C. 2008. “Kinetic Modeling of Cellulosic Biomass to Ethanol via Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation: Part II. Experimental Validation Using Waste Paper Sludge and Anticipation of CFD Analysis,” Biotechnology and Bioengineering 102: 66-72.
  • Yang B, Wyman CE. 2008. “Characterization of the Degree of Polymerization of Xylooligomers Produced by Flowthrough Hydrolysis of Pure Xylan and Corn Stover with Water,” Bioresource Technology 99: 5756-5762.
  • Wyman CE. 2008. “Cellulosic Ethanol: A Unique Sustainable Transportation Fuel,” MRS Bulletin 33(4) 381–383, April, invited.
  • Kumar R, Wyman CE. 2008. “An Improved Method to Directly Estimate Cellulase Adsorption on Biomass Solids,” Enzyme and Microbial Technology, 42: 426–433.
  • Hahn-Hägerdah1 B, Himmel ME, Somerville C, Wyman C. 2008. “Welcome to Biotechnology for Biofuels,” Biotechnology for Biofuels 1: 1-4,
  • Lynd LR, Laser MS, Bransby D, Dale BE, Davison B, Hamilton R, Himmel M, Keller M, McMillan JD, Sheehan J, Wyman CE. 2008.“How Biotech Can Transform Biofuels,” Nature Biotechnology, 26(2): 169-172, February.
  • Yang B, Wyman, CE. 2008. “Pretreatment: The Key to Unlocking Low Cost Cellulosic Ethanol,” Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biorefining 2(1): 26-40, invited.
  • Kumar R, Wyman CE. 2008. “The Impact of Dilute Sulfuric Acid on the Selectivity of Xylooligomer Depolymerization to Monomers,” Carbohydrate Research 343(2): 290-300.
  • Gray MC, Converse AO, Wyman CE. 2007. “Solubilities of Oligomer Mixtures Produced by Hydrolysis of Xylans and Corn Stover in Water at 180oC,” Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 46: 2383-2391.
  • Wyman CE. 2007. “What Is (And Is Not) Vital to Advancing Cellulosic Ethanol,” Trends in Biotechnology 25(4): 153-157, invited.
  • Yang B, Willies DM, Wyman CE. 2006. “Changes in the Enzymatic Hydrolysis Rate of Avicel Cellulose with Conversion,” Biotechnology and Bioengineering 94(6): 1122-1128.
  • Liu C, Wyman CE. 2006. “The Enhancement of Xylose Monomer and Xylotriose Degradation by Inorganic Salts in Aqueous Solutions at 180oC,” Carbohydrate Research 341: 2550-2556.
  • Yang B, Wyman CE. 2006. “BSA Treatment to Enhance Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Cellulose in Lignin Containing Substrates,” Biotechnology and Bioengineering 94(4): 611-617.
  • Wyman CE. 2004. “Ethanol Fuel,” Chapter in New Edition of Encyclopedia of Energy, Cutler Cleveland, Ed., Elsevier, St. Louis, MO, Volume 2, pp. 541-555, March, invited.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

College Information

Bourns College of Engineering
446 Winston Chung Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5190
Fax: (951) 827-3188