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John Frye

John Frye

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 375-2088


Mr. Frye joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in 1994 after working at the Standard Oil of Ohio Research Center for nearly 16 years, and prior to that for the Eveready Battery Division of Union Carbide Corp. for 3 ½ years. During his career at PNNL, he has been heavily involved in chemical process research and development, especially with respect to the development of robust catalysts for a variety of chemical applications. Mr. Frye has been named as an inventor on over 50 U.S. and foreign patents, and has been recognized as a Battelle Distinguished Inventor. Several of his efforts have resulted in commercial processes which have received several R&D 100 and FLC awards, and one Presidential Green Chemistry Award.

Research Interests

  • Chemical and Biological Process Development
  • Catalyst Synthesis
  • Nano-structured Materials Synthesis
  • Novel Chemical and Electrochemical Reactors

Education and Credentials

  • M.S., Chemistry, Case Western Reserve University (Ohio)
  • Graduate Coursework in Chemistry, University of Texas at Austin
  • B.S., Chemistry, Muskingum College (Ohio)

PNNL Patents

PNNL Publications


  • Olarte MV, AH Zacher, AB Padmaperuma, SD Burton, HM Job, TL Lemmon, MS Swita, LJ Rotness, Jr, GG Neuenschwander, JG Frye, and DC Elliott. 2016. "Stabilization of Softwood-Derived Pyrolysis Oils for Continuous Bio-oil Hydroprocessing." Topics in Catalysis 59(1):55-64.  doi:10.1007/s11244-015-0505-7


  • White JF, JE Holladay, AH Zacher, JG Frye, and TA Werpy. 2014. "Challenges in Catalytic Manufacture of Renewable Pyrrolidinones from Fermentation Derived Succinate." Topics in Catalysis 57(17):1325-1334.  doi:10.1007/s11244-014-0299-z


  • Dagle RA, J Hu, SB Jones, WA Wilcox, JG Frye, JF White, J Jiang, and Y Wang. 2013. "Carbon Dioxide Conversion to Valuable Chemical Products over Composite Catalytic Systems." Journal of Energy Chemistry 22(3):368-374.  doi:10.1016/S2095-4956(13)60047-9


  • Xi Y, JE Holladay, JG Frye, AA Oberg, JE Jackson, and DJ Miller. 2010. "A Kinetic and Mass Transfer Model for Glycerol Hydrogenolysis in a Trickle-Bed Reactor." Organic Process Research & Development 14 (6):1304-1312. 



  • Cao C, JF White, Y Wang, and JG Frye. 2007. "Selective Hydrogenolysis of Sugar Alcohols Over Stuctured Catalysts." In Catalysis of Organic Reactions (Chemical Industries Series), vol. 115, pp. 289-291.  CRC Press-Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL. 


  • Werpy TA, JG Frye, and JE Holladay. 2006. "Succinic Acid-A Model Building Block for Chemical Production from Renewable Resources." Chapter 13 in Biorefineries - Industrial Processes and Products, vol. 2, ed. B Kamm, PR Gruber, and M Kamm, pp. 367-379.  Wiley - VCH, Weinham, Germany. 


  • Frye JG, AH Zacher, TA Werpy, and Y Wang. 2005. "Catalytic Preparation of Pyrrolidones from Renewable Resources." Chapter 17 in Catalysis of Organic Reactions, ed. John R. Sowa, Jr., pp. 145-154.  Taylor and Francis, Boca Raton, FL. 
  • Frye JG, AH Zacher, TA Werpy, and Y Wang. 2005. "Catalytic Preparation of Pyrrolidones from Renewable Resources." In Twentieth Conference on the Catalysis of Organic Reactions 2004 : Hilton Head Island, S.C. Chemical industries, vol. 104, ed. John R. Sowa, Jr., pp. 145-154.  CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 
  • Zacher AH, JG Frye, TA Werpy, and DJ Miller. 2005. "Catalytic Hydrogenolysis of 5-Carbon Sugar Alcohols." Chapter 19 in Catalysis of Organic Reactions; 20th Conference on Catalysis of Organic Reactions 2004 : Hilton Head Island, S.C. Chemical industries, ed. JR Sowa, Jr., pp. 165-173.  CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 


Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas