Lieve M.L. Laurens

Senior scientist - National Renewable Energy Laboratory
PhD in Biochemistry from the University of East Anglia

Dr. Lieve Laurens is a senior scientist and Algae Platform team lead at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Bioenergy Center. She is primarily responsible for research in analytical biochemistry, investigating ways to understand carbon energetics towards lipid, carbohydrate, and protein production in microalgae and other microorganisms. A large emphasis of her current research is the pursuit of high-value co-products from microbial and algal biomass, including bio-derived surfactants and bio-polyurethanes as promising oleochemical products. She has over 15 years of experience in biotechnology, with a focus on bioenergy. She is currently leading several, multi-year projects for the US Department of Energy with academic and private partners, covering research in algae and plant biochemistry, cell biomass conversion and characterization, techno- economic analysis. Her group has recently published a set of laboratory analytical procedures online specifically tailored for characterization of biomass and product composition. Dr. Laurens is the chair of the Algae Biomass Organization's Technical Standards Committee leading the development of industry acceptance of algal biomass, bioproducts, and biofuels. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from the University of Ghent in Belgium and University of Paris, France, and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of East Anglia at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, England.

Project Responsibilities
  • Technical lead on Biomass Compositional Analysis and Conversion interface of algae strains to biofuels and bioproducts
  • Developing accessible database of strain and
  • Interface between the data collection for the annual State-of-Technology of algae productivity at national testbed locations
Featured Publications
  1. Knoshaug, E. P., Wolfrum, E. J., Laurens, L. ML., Harmon, V., Dempster, T. A., Crowe, B., and McGowen, J. (2017) “Open Pond Algal Cultivation Datasets of the Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership: The Unified Field Studies as the Benchmark for Innovative Algae Agronomics”, Nature Scientific Data, 5, Article number 180267
  2. Arora, N., Laurens, L. M.L., Poluri, K. M., Sweeney, N., Pienkos, P. T., Pruthi, V. (2018) “Elucidating the unique physiological responses of halotolerant Scenedesmus sp. cultivated in sea water for biofuel production” Algal Research, in press
  3. Leow, S., Shoener, B. D., Debellis, J. L., Markham, J., Davis, R., Laurens, L. ML., Pienkos, P. T., Cook, S. M., Strathmann, T. J., Guest, J. S. (2017) “A Unified Modeling Framework to Advance Biofuel Production from Microalgae”, Environmental Science & Technology, 2018, 52 (22), 13591–13599
  4. Laurens, L. ML., Knoshaug, E. P., Rohrer, H., Van Wychen, S., Dowe, N., Zhang, M. (2016) “Solvent-free spectroscopic method for high- throughput, quantitative screening of fatty acids in yeast biomass” RSC Analytical Methods, in press
  5. McKie-Krisberg, Z. M., Laurens, L. M.L., Huang, A., Polle, J.W. (2018) “Comparative energetics of carbon storage molecules in green algae”, Algal Research, 31, 326-333
  6. Palardy, O., Behnke, C., Laurens, L. ML. (2017) “Fatty Amide Diversity in Neutral Molecular Fractions of Green Crude Hydrothermal Liquefaction Oils from Algal Biomass” Energy and Fuels, 31 (8), 8275-8282, doi: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.7b01175
  7. Laurens L. ML., Markham, J., Templeton, D. W., Christensen, E. D., Van Wychen, S., Vadelius, E., Dong, T., Chen-Glasser, M., Davis, R., Pienkos, P. T. (2017) “Development of Algae Biorefinery Concepts for Biofuels and Bioproducts; a Perspective on the Molecular Identification of Process-compatible Bioproducts and Impact on Cost-Reduction” RSC Energy and Environmental Science, 10, 1716—1738, doi: 10.1039/C7EE01306J
  8. McGowen, J., Knoshaug, E. P., Laurens, L. ML., Dempster, T. A., Pienkos, P. T., Wolfrum, E., Harmon, V. L. “The Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership (ATP3) Framework; Establishment of a National Network of Testbed Sites to Support Sustainable Algae Production” Algal Research, 25,168-177,
  9. Laurens, L. ML., Van Wychen, S., Pienkos, P.T., Harmon, V. L., McGowen, J. “Harmonization of Experimental Approach and Data Collection to Streamline Analysis of Biomass Composition of Algae in an Inter-Laboratory Setting” Algal Research, 25, 549-557, doi:10.1016/j.algal.2017.03.029
  10. Laurens, L. ML., Chen-Glasser, M., McMillan, J. D. (2017) “A Perspective on Renewable Bioenergy from Photosynthetic Algae as Feedstock for Biofuels and Bioproducts” Algal Research, 24(A), 261-264
  11. Dong, T., Knoshaug, E., Davis, R., Laurens, L. ML., Van Wychen, S., Pienkos, P.T., Nagle, N. (2016) “Combined Algal Processing: A novel integrated biorefinery process to produce algal biofuels and bioproducts” Algal Research, 19, 316-323 doi:10.1016/j.algal.2015.12.021
  12. Laurens, L. ML., Nagle, N., Davis, R., Sweeney, N., Van Wychen, S., Lowell, A., Pienkos, P. T. (2015) "Acid-catalyzed algal biomass pretreatment for integrated lipid and carbohydrate-based biofuels production" Green Chemistry, 17, 1145-1158 doi:
  13. Dong, T., Van Wychen, S., Nagle, N., Pienkos, P.T., Laurens, L. ML.* (2016) “Impact of Biochemical Composition on Susceptibility of Algal Biomass to Acid-Catalyzed Pretreatment for Sugar and Lipid Recovery” Algal Research, 18, 69-77 doi:10.1016/j.algal.2016.06.004