Biofuels Research Institute

Biofuels Research Institute
PO Box 1653
Cary NC 27512

Phone: +1 919-749-8717

For general inquiries, contact

About Us

Biofuels Research Institute (BRI) is a nonprofit organization supporting the growth of the biofuels industry through macro-market analysis combined with laboratory scale technology assessment and development.

Management Team
The Biofuels Research Institute is managed by an experienced team with expertise in organic chemistry, biofuels, and chemical engineering.


Sam Yenne, MBA, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer
Sam Yenne is President of the Biofuels Research Institute where he is responsible for overseeing strategic operations, fund raising, and macro-market research topics.  Sam has extensive experience in advancing technologies from concept to market launch.  In addition to Sam’s experience with a biofuels start up where he developed the business strategy and financial models he has served as the Chief Development Officer and VP of Development for two biotechnology startups companies where he successfully managed technology development programs and laboratory operations.  Sam started his career with an international life sciences company and was part of an international product development team responsible for strategy development and project management.  As a biotechnology consultant, Sam has conducted extensive market and macro market opportunities for new technologies.  Sam has over 20 years of product discovery and development expertise in the life sciences and related industries. Sam earned his MBA from Duke University, his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, and his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Idaho.


David Bradin, M.S., J.D., Chief Technology Officer

In addition to being an organic chemist and patent lawyer, David Bradin is a prolific biofuel scientist, and the founder or co-founder of four biofuel companies.  Over the past fifteen years, he has invented technology related to glycerol ether-based fuel additives, biogasoline formulations including 4-heptanone, bio-jet fuel and bio-gasoline produced from vegetable oil or animal fat, bio-based motor oil compositions, and a mixed-alcohol fuel that can be used in flexible fuel engines.  David received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Wittenberg University, and his master's degree in organic chemistry from the Ohio State University. He has been a member of the American Chemical Society since 1989, and is a member of the Georgia Bar Association (currently inactive), the North Carolina Bar Association, and the American Intellectual Property Law Association.


Jeffrey Harrison Ph.D., Chief Engineering Officer
Jeffrey Harrison has more than 25 years experience working in the field of alternate energy, energy conversion processes and business development.  In his 17 years at Texaco Inc., he held positions as a Senior Research Chemist, Group Leader, Technology Manager and VP Upstream Gas Development.  In that period, he identified and implemented several new technologies, including gasification and Fischer-Tropsch processes, that ultimately contributed significantly to the increased profitability of the company’s upstream and downstream businesses.  Since leaving Texaco, Jeffrey successfully led two early stage fuel cell technology companies through the technical and business transitions fundamental to their growth and maturation.



Karl von Gunten, Vice President of Marketing and Communications
With more than 25 years of experience in marketing and public relations, Karl brings a deep knowledge of products and trends to the marketing communications business. Karl is also Director of Marketing as Nextreme Thermal Solutions. Prior to joining Nextreme, Karl was director of business development, managing supervisor, at Gibbs & Soell Public Relations and vice president at Brodeur Worldwide, where he oversaw the regional office and managed PR efforts for industry leaders such as IBM, Nortel, Acterna, and Internet Security Systems. . Karl began his career at IBM where he helped launch the IBM PC in the early 1980s. He serves as an adjunct professor for Duke University Pratt School of Engineering and holds a B.A. in Physics from Wittenberg University.