Center for Bioprocessing Research and Development

The Center for Bioprocessing Research & Development (CBRD) was established in 2006 through the Governor’s 2010 Initiative for Economic Development to bring together the bioprocessing research and development resources of more than 130 researchers at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSM&T) and South Dakota State University (SDSU).

With expertise that covers the entire bioprocessing chain — from biomass production to end product recovery — CBRD is the leading institution for bioenergy R&D in South Dakota.  Research activities are jointly conducted and co-located on both campuses.  The center is actively involved in and supports PhD and MS graduate programs at both universities.

Because of the unique geographical location of the center, local industry by-products, such as agriwaste and logging waste, play a significant part in providing the feedstock for bio-derived chemicals and fuel research. This research has the potential for a far-reaching impact on the economy of the Black Hills, agribusiness and the State as a whole.

Engineering and science collaborators from the School of Mines and SDSU represent engineering and science disciplines from 15 departments currently working on research topics in 15 research areas. These include advanced biofuels, consolidated bioprocessing, lignin degradation, Cyanobacteria, bioactive products, extremophiles, and hydrogen production, among others.   

CBRD's vision, mission and operations are based on the Biorefinery Concept:

Bio-refinery Concept Small


To lead the nation in research and development of bioprocessing technologies for production of biofuels, biochemicals and biomaterials from biomass. 


To provide entrepreneurs and industry with expertise in transformative bioprocessing technologies, technology transfer, research facilities, education and training. 

CBRD Funding

Distribution of CBRD funding (%) between federal, state, and private sources

The current grant success rate of CBRD is on average 33%, with close to 80% of CBRD funds obtained from competitive federal awards.

Over a period of seven years since the onset of CBRD (FY07-FY13), CBRD has received more than $20 million in research grants which represents a 8 to 1 (8:1) return on investment on the SD State seed funding. This  means that on each dollar invested in CBRD, the Center has earned 8 dollars in return from other funding sources.  

Over the same period, CBRD has produced:

  • Over 200 peer-reviewed publications
  • Over 470 presentations at national & international meetings
  • 8 US patents
  • 3 spin-off companies

In addition, CBRD trains on average over 60 graduate students (over 80% PhD) and 25 undergraduate students per year.

Research Areas

  • Advanced biofuels
  • Bioactive natural products
  • Biochemical conversion
  • Biorefineries
  • Consolidated bioprocessing
  • Co-product development
  • Enzymatic hydrolysis
  • Extremophiles
  • Feedstock development and logistics
  • Feedstock pretreatment
  • Hydrogen
  • Lignin bioprocessing
  • Photoautotrophic conversion
  • Product recovery
  • Thermochemical conversion
CBRD slogan

Partner Institutions

Mines logo for CBRD
South Dakota School
of Mines and Technology
SDSU logo for CBRD
South Dakota State University
SDSU Bioproducts webpage