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David Heldebrant

David Heldebrant

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352


Dr. David J. Heldebrant is currently a Senior Research Scientist in the Materials Chemistry and Surface Research Group in the Energy and Efficiency Division at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Dr. Heldebrant joined PNNL as a post-doctoral research scientist in 2005.

Research Interests

  • Dr. Heldebrant’s current research involves the design and development of switchable ionic liquids that chemically capture acid gases such as carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide from power plant gas emissions. Dr. Heldebrant’s CO2-Binding Organic Liquids (CO2BOLs) have shown potential to capture CO2 and SO2 using up to 50% less energy compared to existing gas capture technologies.
  • Dr. Heldebrant also investigates the physical and chemical properties of amine boranes as potential high energy density fuels for hydrogen fuel cells. Dr. Heldebrant currently works on the synthesis, characterization and performance of amine boranes such as ammonia borane and ammonium borohydride for hydrogen storage applications.

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, University of California at Davis, 2005
  • B.S., Fiber and Polymer Science, University of California at Davis, 2001

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • 2001 - current, Member American Chemical Society

PNNL Patents

PNNL Publications


  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, RJ Rousseau, VA Glezakou, D Cantu Cantu, D Malhotra, F Zheng, GA Whyatt, CJ Freeman, and MD Bearden. 2017. "Are Water-Lean Solvent Systems Viable for Post-Combustion CO2 Capture?" Energy Procedia 114:756-763.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.1218
  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, VA Glezakou, RJ Rousseau, D Malhotra, and D Cantu Cantu. 2017. "Water-Lean Solvents for Post-Combustion CO2 Capture: Fundamentals, Uncertainties, Opportunities and Outlook." Chemical Reviews 117(14):9594-9624.  doi:10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00768
  • Cantu Cantu D, D Malhotra, PK Koech, DJ Heldebrant, F Zheng, CJ Freeman, RJ Rousseau, and VA Glezakou. 2017. "Integrated Solvent Design for CO2 Capture and Viscosity Tuning." Energy Procedia 114:726-734.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.1215
  • Davidson CL, DJ Heldebrant, MD Bearden, JA Horner, and CJ Freeman. 2017. "Enabling CCS via low-temperature geothermal energy integration for fossil-fired power generation." Energy Procedia 114:6448-6454.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.1781
  • Malhotra D, JP Page, ME Bowden, AJ Karkamkar, DJ Heldebrant, VA Glezakou, RJ Rousseau, and PK Koech. 2017. "Phase-Change Aminopyridines as Carbon Dioxide Capture Solvents." Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 56(26):7534-7540.  doi:10.1021/acs.iecr.7b00874
  • Malhotra D, PK Koech, DJ Heldebrant, D Cantu Cantu, F Zheng, VA Glezakou, and RJ Rousseau. 2017. "Reinventing design principles for developing low-viscosity carbon dioxide-binding organic liquids for flue gas clean up." ChemSusChem 10(3):636-642.  doi:10.1002/cssc.201601622
  • Whyatt GA, A Zwoster, F Zheng, RJ Perry, BR Wood, I Spiry, CJ Freeman, and DJ Heldebrant. 2017. "Measuring CO2 and N2O Mass Transfer into GAP-1 CO2-Capture Solvents at Varied Water Loadings." Industrial Engineering Chemistry Research 56(16):4830-4836.  doi:10.1021/acs.iecr.7b00193
  • Yao J, D Lao, X Sui, Y Zhou, SK Nune, X Ma, T Troy, M Ahmed, Z Zhu, DJ Heldebrant, and XY Yu. 2017. "Two Coexisting Liquid Phases in Switchable Ionic Liquids." Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. PCCP 19(34):22627-22623.  doi:10.1039/C7CP03754F
  • Yao J, Y Zhou, X Sui, D Lao, DJ Heldebrant, Z Zhu, and XY Yu. 2017. "Errata: Switchable 1, 8-diazabicycloundec-7-ene and 1-hexanol ionic liquid analyzed by liquid ToF-SIM." Surface Science Spectra 24(1):018001.  doi:10.1116/1.4978877


  • Cantu Cantu D, D Malhotra, PK Koech, DJ Heldebrant, F Zheng, CJ Freeman, RJ Rousseau, and VA Glezakou. 2016. "Structure-Property Reduced Order Model for Viscosity Prediction in Single-Component CO2- Binding Organic Liquids." Green Chemistry 18(22):10.1039/C6GC02203K.  doi:10.1039/c6gc02203k
  • Cantu Cantu D, JT Lee, MS Lee, DJ Heldebrant, PK Koech, CJ Freeman, RJ Rousseau, and VA Glezakou. 2016. "Dynamic Acid/Base Equilibrium in Single Component Switchable Ionic Liquids and Consequences on Viscosity." Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 7(9):1646-1652.  doi:10.1021/acs.jpclett.6b00395
  • Lao D, BR Galan, JC Linehan, and DJ Heldebrant. 2016. "The steps of activating a prospective CO2 hydrogenation catalyst with combined CO2 capture and reduction." Green Chemistry 18(18):4871-4874.  doi:10.1039/C6GC01800A
  • Lao D, RK Kukkadapu, L Kovarik, BW Arey, DJ Heldebrant, and SK Nune. 2016. "Switchable Ionic Liquids: An Environmentally-friendly Medium to Synthesize Nanoparticulate Green Rust." Current Inorganic Chemistry 6(2):92-99.  doi:10.2174/1877944106999160317160621
  • Nune SK, D Lao, DJ Heldebrant, J Liu, MJ Olszta, RK Kukkadapu, LM Gordon, MI Nandasiri, GA Whyatt, CK Clayton, DW Gotthold, MH Engelhard, and HT Schaef. 2016. "Anomalous Water Expulsion from Carbon-Based Rods at High Humidity." Nature Nanotechnology 11(9):791-797.  doi:10.1038/nnano.2016.91
  • Whyatt GA, CJ Freeman, A Zwoster, and DJ Heldebrant. 2016. "Measuring Nitrous Oxide Mass Transfer into Non-Aqueous CO2BOL CO2 Capture Solvents." Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 55(16):4720-4725.  doi:10.1021/acs.iecr.6b00390
  • Yao J, Y Zhou, X Sui, D Lao, DJ Heldebrant, Z Zhu, and XY Yu. 2016. "Switchable 1,8-diazabicycloundec-7-ene and 1-hexanol ionic liquid analyzed by liquid ToF-SIMS." Surface Science Spectra 23(1):9-28.  doi:10.1116/1.4948526
  • Zheng F, DJ Heldebrant, PM Mathias, PK Koech, M Bhakta, CJ Freeman, MD Bearden, and A Zwoster. 2016. "Bench-Scale Testing and Process Performance Projections of CO2 Capture by CO2-Binding Organic Liquids (CO2BOLs) With and Without Polarity-Swing-Assisted Regeneration." Energy and Fuels 30(2):1192-1203.  doi:10.1021/acs.energyfuels.5b02437
  • Zhou Y, J Yao, Y Ding, J Yu, X Hua, JE Evans, X Yu, D Lao, DJ Heldebrant, SK Nune, B Cao, ME Bowden, XY Yu, X Wang, and Z Zhu. 2016. "Improving the Molecular Ion Signal Intensity for In Situ Liquid SIMS Analysis." Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry 27(12):2006-2013.  doi:10.1007/s13361-016-1478-x


  • Jung HB, KC Carroll, S Kabilan, DJ Heldebrant, DW Hoyt, L Zhong, T Varga, SA Stephens, L Adams, A Bonneville, AP Kuprat, and CA Fernandez. 2015. "Stimuli-Responsive/Rheoreversible Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids as a Greener Alternative to Support Geothermal and Fossil Energy Production." Green Chemistry 17(5):2799-2812.  doi:10.1039/c4gc01917b
  • Koech PK, D Malhotra, DJ Heldebrant, D Cantu Cantu, VA Glezakou, and RJ Rousseau. 2015. "Synthesis and characterization of low viscosity carbon dioxide binding organic liquids for flue gas clean up." In Energy & Fuels Preprints Presented at the 249th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, March 22-26, 2015, Denver, Colorado, vol. 60, no. 1, pp. 628-630.  American Chemical Society, Washington, DC. 
  • Mathias PM, F Zheng, DJ Heldebrant, A Zwoster, GA Whyatt, CJ Freeman, MD Bearden, and PK Koech. 2015. "Measuring the Absorption Rate of CO2 in Nonaqueous CO2-Binding Organic Liquid Solvents with a Wetted-Wall Apparatus." ChemSusChem 8(21):3617-3625.  doi:10.1002/cssc.201500288
  • Shao H, S Kabilan, SA Stephens, N Suresh, ANR Beck, T Varga, PF Martin, AP Kuprat, HB Jung, W Um, A Bonneville, DJ Heldebrant, KC Carroll, J Moore, and CA Fernandez. 2015. "Environmentally Friendly, Rheoreversible, Hydraulic-fracturing Fluids for Enhanced Geothermal Systems." Geothermics 58:22-31.  doi:10.1016/j.geothermics.2015.07.010


  • Heldebrant DJ, VA Glezakou, PK Koech, PM Mathias, D Cantu Cantu, RJ Rousseau, D Malhotra, M Bhakta, MD Bearden, CJ Freeman, and F Zheng. 2014. "Evaluating transformational solvent systems for post-combustion CO2 separations." Energy Procedia 63:8144-8152.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2015.12.336
  • Powell MR, PA Gauglitz, KM Denslow, CM Fischer, DJ Heldebrant, MS Prowant, S Sande, JM Davis, and MR Telander. 2014. Evaluation of Gas Retention in Waste Simulants: Intermediate-Scale Column and Open-Channel-Depth TestsPNNL-23136; DSGREP-RPT-003, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Schonewill PP, PA Gauglitz, RW Shimskey, KM Denslow, MR Powell, GK Boeringa, JR Bontha, NK Karri, LS Fifield, DN Tran, S Sande, DJ Heldebrant, JE Meacham, D Smet, WE Bryan, and RB Calmus. 2014. Evaluation of Gas Retention in Waste Simulants: Tall Column ExperimentsPNNL-23340; DSGREP-RPT-005, Rev.0, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Yadav M, JC Linehan, AJ Karkamkar, EF Van Der Eide, and DJ Heldebrant. 2014. "Homogeneous Hydrogenation of CO2 to Methyl Formate Utilizing Switchable Ionic Liquids." Inorganic Chemistry 53(18):9849-9854.  doi:10.1021/ic501378w


  • Zhang J, IV Kutnyakov, PK Koech, A Zwoster, CJ Howard, F Zheng, CJ Freeman, and DJ Heldebrant. 2013. "CO2-Binding-Organic-Liquids-Enhanced CO2 Capture using Polarity-Swing-Assisted Regeneration." Energy Procedia 37:285-291.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2013.05.113
  • Koech PK, J Zhang, IV Kutnyakov, L Cosimbescu, SJ Lee, ME Bowden, TD Smurthwaite, and DJ Heldebrant. 2013. "Low viscosity alkanolguanidine and alkanolamidine liquids for CO2 capture." RSC Advances 3(2):556 - 572.  doi:10.1039/C2RA22801G
  • Mathias PM, K Afshar, F Zheng, MD Bearden, CJ Freeman, T Andrea, PK Koech, IV Kutnyakov, A Zwoster, AR Smith, PG Jessop, OG Nik, and DJ Heldebrant. 2013. "Improving the Regeneration of CO2-Binding Organic Liquids with a Polarity Change." Energy and Environmental Science 6(7):2233-2242.  doi:10.1039/C3EE41016A
  • Mathias PM, LV Jasperson, D VonNiederhausern, MD Bearden, PK Koech, CJ Freeman, and DJ Heldebrant. 2013. "Assessing Anhydrous Tertiary Alkanolamines for High-Pressure Gas Purifications." Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 52(49):17562-17572.  doi:10.1021/ie4020974


  • Jessop PG, S Mercer, and DJ Heldebrant. 2012. "CO2-Triggered Switchable Solvents, Surfactants, and Other Materials." Energy & Environmental Science 5(6):7240-7253.  doi:10.1039/C2EE02912J


  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, JE Rainbolt, and F Zheng. 2011. "CO2-Binding Organic Liquids, an Integrated Acid Gas Capture System." Energy Procedia 4:216-223.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2011.01.044
  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, JE Rainbolt, F Zheng, TD Smurthwaite, CJ Freeman, M Oss, and I Leito. 2011. "Performance of Single-Component CO2-Binding Organic Liquids (CO2BOLs) For Post Combustion CO2 Capture." Chemical Engineering Journal 171(3):794-800.  doi:10.1016/j.cej.2011.02.012
  • Koech PK, DJ Heldebrant, SJ Lee, JE Rainbolt, and TD Smurthwaite. 2011. "Synthesis, characterization and application of alkanolamidines and alkanolguanidines in CO(2) capture." In 241st National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, March 27-31, 2011, Anaheim, California, vol. 241, pp. 48-FUEL.  American Chemical Society, Washington, DC. 
  • Koech PK, JE Rainbolt, MD Bearden, F Zheng, and DJ Heldebrant. 2011. "Chemically Selective Gas Sweetening Without Thermal-Swing Regeneration ." Energy & Environmental Science 4(4):1385-1390.  doi:10.1039/c0ee00839g


  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, and CR Yonker. 2010. "A reversible zwitterionic SO2-binding organic liquid." Energy & Environmental Science 3(1):111-113.  doi:10.1039/B916550A
  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, and CR Yonker. 2010. "A reversible zwitterionic SO2-binding organic liquid." Energy & Environmental Science 3(1):111-113.  doi:10.1039/b916550a
  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, CR Yonker, JE Rainbolt, and F Zheng. 2010. "Reversible Acid Gas Capture Using CO2-Binding Organic Liquids." In Preprints of Symposia - American Chemical Society Fuel Chemistry Division, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 81-82.  American Chemical Society, Washington DC. 
  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, JE Rainbolt, and F Zheng. 2010. "Acid Gas Capture Using CO2-Binding Organic Liquids." In Proceedings of the 2010 Annual Meeting of the AIChE, November 7-12, 2010, Salt Lake City, Utah, p. Paper No. 334d.  American Institute of Chemical Engineers, New York. 
  • Heldebrant DJ, PK Koech, T Ang, C Liang, JE Rainbolt, CR Yonker, and PG Jessop. 2010. "Reversible zwitterionic liquids, the reaction of alkanol guanidines, alkanol amidines, and diamines with CO2 ." Green Chemistry 12(4):713-721.  doi:10.1039/b924790d
  • Bowden ME, DJ Heldebrant, AJ Karkamkar, TE Proffen, GK Schenter, and T Autrey. 2010. "The diammoniate of diborane: Crystal structure and hydrogen release." Chemical Communications 46(45):8564-8566.  doi:10.1039/C0CC03249B
  • King DL, L Zhang, G Xia, AM Karim, DJ Heldebrant, X Wang, TH Peterson, and Y Wang. 2010. "Aqueous Phase Reforming of Glycerol for Hydrogen Production Over Pt-Re Supported on Carbon." Applied Catalysis. B, Environmental 99(1-2):206-213 .  doi:10.1016/j.apcatb.2010.06.021
  • Koech PK, DJ Heldebrant, JE Rainbolt, F Zheng, and TD Smurthwaite. 2010. "Synthesis, characterization and performance of single-component CO2-binding organic liquids (CO2BOL) for post combustion CO2 capture." In Preprints of Symposia, American Chemical Society. Division of Fuel Chemistry, August 22-26, 2010, Boston, MA, vol. 55, no. 2, pp. 553-554.  American Chemical Society, Washington DC. 
  • Rainbolt JE, PK Koech, CR Yonker, F Zheng, D Main, ML Weaver, JC Linehan, and DJ Heldebrant. 2010. "Anhydrous Tertiary Alkanolamines as Hybrid Chemical and Physical CO2 Capture Reagents with Pressure-Swing Regeneration." Energy & Environmental Science 4(2):480-484.  doi:10.1039/C0EE00506A
  • Shaw WJ, ME Bowden, AJ Karkamkar, CJ Howard, DJ Heldebrant, NJ Hess, JC Linehan, and T Autrey. 2010. "Characterization of a New Phase of Ammonia Borane." Energy & Environmental Science 3(6):796-804. 


  • Heldebrant DJ, CR Yonker, PG Jessop, and L Phan. 2009. "CO2-binding organic liquids (CO2BOLs) for post-combustion CO2 capture." In Energy Procedia - Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies (GHGT-9), vol. 1, no. 1, ed. , pp. 1187-1195.  Elsevier, Oxford, United Kingdom.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2009.01.156
  • Heldebrant DJ, CR Yonker, PG Jessop, and L Phan. 2009. "Reversible uptake of COS, CS2 and SO2; Ionic liquids with O-alkylxanthate, O-alkylthiocarbonate, and O-alkylsulfite anions." Chemistry - a European Journal 15(31):7619-7627. 
  • Hess NJ, GK Schenter, MR Hartman, LL Daemen, TE Proffen, SM Kathmann, CJ Mundy, MA Hartl, DJ Heldebrant, AC Stowe, and T Autrey. 2009. "Neutron Powder Diffraction and Molecular Simulation Study of the Structural Evolution of Ammonia Borane from 15 to 340 K." Journal of Physical Chemistry A 113(9):5723-5735.  doi:10.1021/jp900839c
  • Karkamkar AJ, SM Kathmann, GK Schenter, DJ Heldebrant, NJ Hess, MS Gutowski, and T Autrey. 2009. "Thermodynamic and Structural Investigations of Ammonium Borohydride, a Solid with a Highest Content of Thermodynamically and Kinetically Accessible Hydrogen." Chemistry of Materials 21(19):4356-4358.  doi:10.1021/cm902385c
  • Pons V, RT Baker, NK Szymczak, DJ Heldebrant, JC Linehan, MH Matus, DJ Grant, and DA Dixon. 2009. "Coordination of aminoborane, NH2BH2, dictates selectivity and extent of H2 release in metal-catalysed ammonia borane dehydrogenation." Chemical Communications 48: 6597-6599.  doi:10.1039/b809190k


  • Heldebrant DJ, AJ Karkamkar, JC Linehan, and T Autrey. 2008. "Synthesis of Ammonia Borane for Hydrogen Storage Applications." Energy & Environmental Science 1(1):156-160. 
  • Heldebrant DJ, AJ Karkamkar, JC Linehan, and T Autrey. 2008. "Synthesis of Ammonia Borane for Hydrogen Storage Applications." Energy & Environmental Science 1(1):156-160.  doi:10.1039/b808865a
  • Heldebrant DJ, AJ Karkamkar, NJ Hess, ME Bowden, SD Rassat, F Zheng, KG Rappe, and T Autrey. 2008. "The Effects of Chemical Additives on the Induction Phase in Solid-State Thermal Decomposition of Ammonia Borane." Chemistry of Materials 20(16):5332-5336.  doi:10.1021/cm801253u
  • Heldebrant DJ, CR Yonker, PG Jessop, and L Phan. 2008. "Organic Liquid CO2 Capture Agents With High Gravimetric CO2 Capacity ." Energy & Environmental Science 1(4):487-493. 
  • Hess NJ, MR Hartman, C Brown, E Mamontov, AJ Karkamkar, DJ Heldebrant, LL Daemen, and T Autrey. 2008. "Quasielastic neutron scattering of -NH3 and -BH3 rotational dynamics in orthorhombic ammonia borane." Chemical Physics Letters 459(1-6):85-88.  doi:10.1016/j.cplett.2008.04.130
  • Shaw WJ, JC Linehan, NK Szymczak, DJ Heldebrant, CR Yonker, DM Camaioni, RT Baker, and T Autrey. 2008. "In Situ Multinuclear NMR Spectroscopic Studies of the Thermal Decomposition of Ammonia Borane in Solution." Angewandte Chemie International Edition 47(39):7493-7496.  doi:10.1002/anie.200802100
  • Zheng F, SD Rassat, DJ Heldebrant, DD Caldwell, CL Aardahl, T Autrey, JC Linehan, and KG Rappe. 2008. "Automated gas burette system for evolved hydrogen measurements." Review of Scientific Instruments 79(8):Article no: 084103.  doi:10.1063/1.2968715


  • Heldebrant DJ, JC Linehan, DM Camaioni, SD Rassat, F Zheng, and T Autrey. 2007. "EFFECT OF ADDITIVES ON THE THERMOLYSIS OF AMMONIA BORANE." In 234th American Chemical Society Conference Proceedings - Reprints of Symposia - Division of Fuel Chemistry., vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 563-564.  American Chemical Society, Washington DC. 

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